NFL Free Agency: Cash Strapped Detroit Lions Target Wide Receiver Golden Tate


Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate (81) celebrates after beating the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

When Free Agency started at 4:00 pm today, the Detroit Lions had roughly 9 million to spend on free agency.  The small amount of spending money a result of failure to negotiate an extension for Ndamukong Suh that reduced his cap hit for 2014.

Early reports had the Detroit Lions  interested in a few of the free agent Safeties on the market, namely former Cleveland Brown T.J. Ward.  But as time went on and free agents came off the board, it became clear that the Lions would not be able to afford to get into a bidding war with teams that had twice the cap space. That was the case as T.J.Ward later signed with the Denver Broncos . As other free agents signed throughout the evening the Lions hopes of landing one of the top free agent Safeties began to wane.

So the Lions began to turn their full attention to another areas of need on the offense.  After resigning two of their own free agents, RB Joique Bell and WR Kevin Ogletree, the Lions began to look at a player that could player alongside Calvin Johnson.

There are a number of quality free agent wide receivers on the market but at the top of the list are former Seattle Seahawks Golden Tate and former packer James Jones.

Reports late Tuesday night had Golden Tate flying into Detroit to meet with Lions official.  At the time of this post there was nothing official however it is a good sign that the Superbowl Champion will be in town to meet officials in person.

Another player long targeted by the Detroit Lions is former packer James Jones.  The 30 year-old Jones scored 14 touchdowns in 2012 but dropped off a bit only scoring 3 touchdowns in 2013 after missing two games because of injury. however despite the decreased touchdown total Jones set a career highs in both receiving yards and yards per catch.

Getting either Tate or Jones won’t be easy.

James Jones is also drawing interest from the New York Jets (who are in talks with free agent QB Micheal Vick).  Other suitors for Jones include his orignal team the Green Bay Packers, along with the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers.

The challenge in landing Golden Tate will be creating enough room under the cap to sign the free agent receiver while saving a little room to address other needs.