Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate wasn’t pulling any punches during an interview with NFL Total Access, saying that the Lions need to lock up quarterback Matthew Stafford as soon as possible.
“They gotta get that done,” said Tate. “I think you have to lock him up ASAP. Don’t even leave a chance that he’s going to hit the free-agent market.”
Stafford is entering the final season of a three-year, $53 million contract. Now, after Oakland Raiders signal-caller Derek Carr received a $125 million deal, Detroit is going to have to pay up if it wants to retain Stafford.
Tate feels that Stafford has the attributes and the mindset that a quarterback needs, and that should be enough to get the Lions to re-sign the 29-year-old.
“He’s an excellent athlete, a great leader in the locker room, and with some help the guy is one of the best in the league,” said the wideout. “I’m a strong believer in Matt. I hope I have a chance to play with him for the rest of my career, hopefully here in Detroit.”
Tate understands how important the quarterback position is.
“If you don’t have a quarterback in this league, you don’t have a chance, in my opinion,” he said.
Stafford threw for 4,327 yards, 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing 65.3 percent of his passes last season.
He also has started all 16 games every year since 2011, and that feat is not lost on Tate.
“He deserves it. He does everything right,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about him getting in trouble. He balls-out. He’s tough as nails. He’s what you want in a quarterback.”