New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate did not travel with the team Saturday and will be inactive for Sunday’s game against Washington as part of the discipline from his actions during and after last week’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tate was told to stay home Wednesday while the Giants practiced and spent most of the rest of the week working with the scout team. On Friday, coach Joe Judge did not rule out the possibility of the veteran wide receiver not being active for the divisional matchup.
“I’m going to discuss a lot of possibilities Friday after practice,” Judge said.
Tate was caught on camera yelling “Throw me the ball” after his spectacular leaping touchdown grab late in the fourth quarter Monday night put the Giants in position to tie the game. His wife, Elise, ranted that night on Instagram about his lack of opportunities, and Tate later liked a tweet that suggested he should be cut and given an opportunity to sign elsewhere.
The Giants do not plan to cut Tate despite the benching, a source told ESPN.
Judge said earlier in the week that he had a lengthy conversation with Tate and that they would deal with the matter internally. It was clear that the coach was not happy with his actions.
“First off, it has to be team-first for everyone in this building,” Judge said Wednesday. “Every coach and every player. It has to be team-first. There are no exceptions for that. I’m not going to tolerate any kind of selfish behavior from anybody, a coach or a player. It’s not going to happen.”
Seeing him on the scout term pretending to be Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin at practice was a strange sight.
“It’s a little different,” cornerback James Bradberry said with a smile Friday.
It has been quite the eventful season already for Tate. And we’re only halfway home.
He missed the opener with an ankle injury, fought Jalen Ramsey — the father of his nieces — at midfield in Week 4 and now is mired in controversy following his and his wife’s comments.
Sources said the Giants were open to moving Tate before Tuesday’s trade deadline. But his salary (almost $4.5 million this season), age (32) and deteriorating production (22 catches for 261 yards and two touchdowns in seven games) made it unlikely.
The rare times Tate has been called on in recent weeks, he has produced. He has touchdown grabs of 19 and 39 yards despite just five targets combined against the Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles.
“His role is the same as every player on our team. Show up to work, work hard, put the team first and when you have the ball come your way, to make a play on it,” Judge said Tuesday. “If you’re not involved with the ball directly at you, to block, help the quarterback. For defensive players, to make sure we play our leverage, tackle and get the team off the field. Look, put the team first in whatever you’re asked to do. If you catch 10 balls, great. If you catch one ball, that’s great too. On the other plays within the game, do everything you can to help the team.”
On Monday, Tate’s frustration could be seen building as the game progressed and the ball didn’t come his way. His wife seemed to notice.
“GT WIDE OPEN WIDE OPEN WIDE OPEN. I KNOWWWWW,” Elise Tate wrote on her Instagram story, before conceding her husband would probably be upset with her comments and make her delete the post.
“He’s @showtimetate!! SO UNDER UTILIZED. AS HIS WIFE I CANNOT EVEN WATCH WITH ONE EYE OPEN!!!!” she wrote. “Same exact thing last game. One target in the first quarter — of course — an epic TD. HE NEEDS TO BW FED THE BALL. Period. Watch the film.”
There have been whispers about Tate’s diminishing skills and lack of separation. But the film from Monday’s game showed Tate was open plenty, with clear separation from a defender on 13 plays. At least some were blatant misses from quarterback Daniel Jones, who didn’t look in his direction.
To be fair, the Giants had open receivers running all over the field Monday night. Jones had plenty of options and missed a few big ones. Tate just doesn’t seem to be among the Giants’ offense’s top priorities right now.
“I’ve got to do a good job of getting everyone the ball and giving guys the opportunity to make plays,” Jones said after Monday’s game. “He’s a great player for us and a valuable part of our offense, so we’ll continue to try to get him the ball. He stepped up and made a big play there at the end of the game. We’ll continue to work to get him the ball.”
Just not this week.