According to ESPN.com, Tate told 710 ESPN Seattle on Tuesday that he’s “appalled” by some of the reactions he's seen from Seattle fans on social media and the initial offer the team made him to remain with the defending Super Bowl champions was “laughable.”
"I'm just appalled at the attitude I've received on Twitter from people I thought were Golden Tate fans. People are starting to show their true colors. I think the world of the 12s [Seahawks fans], but there is a large group who very quickly turned on me. It kind of bothered me because I felt like I gave everything I possibly could to the city of Seattle.”
Tate spent the first four seasons of his career in Seattle, after being drafted by the Seahawks in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft. He only played in 11 games in his rookie season, but his numbers have risen successively each year. In 2013, he finished with 64 receptions for 898 yards, both career highs. He also finished last season with 585 punt return yards, second-most in the NFL.
Despite those numbers, Tate sounded a touch bitter about the team’s offer in light of his earlier comments that he might consider a “hometown discount.”
"I didn't mean a 40 percent discount. I'm going to earn in one year at Detroit what Seattle was going to pay me for two years. Seattle offered numbers that were laughable. I thought, 'I've given you everything and this is what you give me?'
"Considering I was there for four years, and started two of those years. I missed one game in those two years. I did everything right and wasn't a trouble maker. And what they offered, I was like, 'Is this serious?' The numbers [the Seahawks] shot at me were not first-priority, like they said they wanted to do for me to stay in Seattle.
"It's a business and I get it. But I felt I was undervalued a little bit considering all I had done. I'm going to miss the city of Seattle, but I really had no choice. I did my very best to stay in Seattle. I leave with my head high."
Tate said he spoke with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll after he signed with Detroit and said he left on good terms with everyone in the organization. He sounded excited to be joining the offensive system used by the Lions. Detroit finished third in pass offense with 4482 total yards in 2013.
"I'm going from a run-heavy offense to a pass-happy offense," Tate said, according to ESPN.com. "It's a chance to be the player I always imagined being."
Seattle is in a difficult position during this free agency period, as they’ll soon need to offer lucrative long-term contracts to star players like Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, and Richard Sherman, all of whom are still on their low-cost rookie deals. They also committed over $28 million to keep defensive end Michael Bennett in Seattle at the start of free agency. Their only signing thus far has been receiver Taylor Price, an inexperienced receiver with just five catches in his career.