Golden Tate: Stafford is 'best QB I've played with'

In less than a calendar year, Golden Tate is calling his third franchise home as he now resides with the New York Giants.

So it wasn't all that long ago that he was a Detroit Lion, most often hauling in receptions from the impressive right arm of quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Gone from Detroit, Tate hasn't forgotten his time there or his time playing with Stafford, who he views as highly underrated and the best quarterback he's played with across nine NFL seasons.

"Stafford's been the best quarterback I've played with," Tate told "The guy can flat out play, he's tough, and his attitude is amazing and he just wants to play ball. For me I have nothing but praises for him."

It's a strong compliment considering Tate played for two seasons with Russell Wilson in Seattle and last year in Philadelphia was in the same offense as Carson Wentz and then Nick Foles.

With that high praise also came some regret from Tate, as the Lions have only managed to make three playoff appearances with Stafford under center since he was drafted first overall in 2009.

Stafford has been an iron man at quarterback, having played eight straight seasons without missing a start and has thrown for better than 4,200 yards in all but one of those campaigns. It hasn't translated into much success, though.

"It's almost unfair that he's such a good player and doesn't have playoffs or a ring to show for it," Tate said. "That kind of hurts my heart that I wasn't able to help change that. I think over his career, if you put him in another organization, maybe things are different. I don't know. I played with some guys over my years that I've won playoff games with that I don't think are as good."

Now, Tate is set to play with Eli Manning as his starting quarterback -- Giants first-round selection Daniel Jones threatened to take that spot but it still belongs to the two-time Super Bowl champ (for now).

Tate signed in the offseason with the Giants after finishing the 2018 season with the Philadelphia Eagles following a trade from Detroit. He started his career with four seasons in Seattle.

"I didn't really think I was ever going to be traded," Tate said. "I knew that my time was probably going to come to an end at sometime.

"This league doesn't really shock me anymore."

So now, Tate is looking ahead to his time with the Giants, but that doesn't prevent him from looking back fondly at his autumns with the Lions, who, at least for the sake of the best quarterback he's played with so far, appear in his eyes to be headed down the right path.

"Detroit will always have a place in my heart and I'll always root for Detroit, except for when they're playing the Giants now," Tate said. "I'll miss that place.

"I think they're trending up. I'm excited to see what they do in the future."

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