San Francisco 49ers: Big names to avoid during 2019 NFL free agency

Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images /
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Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images /

Golden Tate, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Surprisingly, Golden Tate may actually be the best wide receiver on the open market this offseason — by a wide margin. That means the bidding war for his services could get a bit bonkers. Realistically, that’s my main concern when it comes to signing Tate.

Sure, he’s an exceptional talent out wide. While a bit streaky in terms of production and big-game potential, he’s more than capable of upgrading a passing game. However, if the 49ers think that spending way too much to make him their No. 1 receiver is the way to go, they’re not going to like the end results.

Regardless of the cost, Tate is not the top-tier receiver the 49ers need. Looking back on his prior production, it’s easy to assume that he’s a near-elite talent — especially when peeking at his numbers with the Detroit Lions.

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However, we have to remember that, in Detroit, Tate’s stats were more a product of volume than talent. As soon as the Lions found a capable replacement (Kenny Golladay), they sent the diminutive receiver packing. Their lack of competitiveness probably played a part, but Golladay’s presence as a superior No. 1 option also made Tate expendable.

The point I’m trying to make here is that Tate is not going to fix the San Francisco passing game. The 49ers need a true top receiver who can give Jimmy Garoppolo a reliable, go-to target and pull coverage away from George Kittle. Tate won’t do either of those things to the level his pay will suggest he’s capable of.