The Facts: Tate’s signing with the Giants in March caught a lot of people in the NFL off-guard. The $23 million guaranteed in Tate’s four-year, $37.5 million free agent deal was a staggering number. So why the need for Tate, known mostly for versatility and reliability? Well, because that’s not all Tate is. As Tuesday’s first practice of mandatory minicamp demonstrated, Tate gets downfield as often as he works underneath. “I know since my third year in Detroit I’ve kind of been put in a box that I’m only a slot receiver,” Tate said. “But I played outside my entire college career. When I was in Seattle my last three years, my first two years in Detroit in two-receiver sets I was the X or the Z, and when we got three-receiver sets I would move into the slot.”
Diehards Line: Tate always has been a game-breaker. He always has made big plays. And that’s what Tate told the Daily News on Tuesday he hopes he can be for these Giants: a reliable presence first, but also a big-time player when needed most. Indeed, Tate has 10 touchdowns of 40 yards or more in the last six seasons. He had 90 or more catches in all four full seasons with the Lions, and went over 1,000 yards in three of them. There are several receivers the Giants hope can help fill the void downfield left by Beckham’s trade to Cleveland. Sterling Shepard, Cody Latimer, Corey Coleman and even undrafted rookie Reggie White Jr. all showed speed and ability deep on Tuesday. Tight end Evan Engram will also be a factor. But Tate believes he can still provide a solid downfield presence.