NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday's "NFL Total Access" that while Sidney Rice is likely on his way out in Seattle, the Seahawks view fellow wide receiver Golden Tate as a top priority in free agency.
The interest is mutual. In the afterglow of Sunday's Super Bowl victory, Tate told KJR-AM on Tuesday that "we finally have something special" in Seattle and "I'd love to be in this city," even if it means taking a hometown discount.
"I probably shouldn't even say this right now, but I'm going to say it anyway just because I love Seattle. Honestly, I would rather take a little less to be happy and win ballgames than to take way more and go to a crappy city where the fans don't give a crap about the team," Tate said. "You win a game once a month or something like that. I'd much rather stay in the situation that I have now for a little less than to go and try to break the bank somewhere else."
The reality is that Seattle can't afford to pay Tate what he might make somewhere else. With general manager John Schneider angling to lock up pass rusher Michael Bennett and craft extensions for All-Pro defensive backs Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, the Seahawks, already hugging the salary cap, don't have the luxury of overpaying for Tate.
Assuming Rice is gone next season, Tate figures as the No. 2 receiving option alongside Percy Harvin. As a proven punt returner and big-play threat, Tate -- who ranked second in the NFL with 7.9 yards after catch per reception, via Pro Football Focus -- also noted that he doesn't "want to be disrespected" by whatever the Seahawks float his way.
Neither does his agent, but with a new deal for Tate ranking high on Seattle's list of offseason to-do's, we'd expect something to get worked out without too much trouble.