Ben Tate is hitting the free agent market at a convenient time. Interwoven amongst a blend of slow, aging running backs, there stands Tate… the preeminent name in the class. His power/speed combination has been evident since popping onto the NFL radar in 2011, but the presence of Arian Foster has slowed his ascent. How good can a healthy Tate be in a system that unleashes his talent? Let’s just say his ceiling is high. However, we can also say with relative certainty that the Giants won’t be in play for his services. Here are five reasons why:
Dolla dolla bill ya’ll – The soon to be 26-year old doesn’t have a lot of wear on his tires. Unlike most names in this free agent class of RB’s, it can safely be proclaimed that Tate has prime years ahead of him. His price tag will be hefty – he’s been raking in $630,000 – and the Giants don’t shell out $ for backs.
Fragile Ben – Finally given an opportunity to shine in 2013 with Arian Foster sidelined, Tate played through cracked ribs for seven weeks before placement on Injured Reserve. His performance level was clearly diminished. Keep in mind, this is the same Tate that broke his ankle in the 2010 preseason opener as a rookie and missed five games with foot and hamstring issues in 2012.
“Fumblitis” – Chronic fumbling issues have haunted Tate since his days at Auburn. In 421 career NFL carries, he’s dropped the rock ten times, losing six of them. Comparitively, Arian Foster has lost eight fumbles in 1,131 carries. Lax with the ball in the green zone? Mr. Coughlin won’t stand for that.
First Downs/Success Rate – Only 18.2% of Tate’s carries resulted in a first down, a tick above Peyton Hillis at 16.4%. In a similar vein, he posted a Success Rate of 37.8% — percentage of runs that resulted in a successful play – good for 56th among qualifying RB’s.
Short yardage & Goal Line – Tate found limited success on 3rd/4th and short (less than three), picking up 32 yards on 12 attempts. Additionally, he took seven GL carries all season, amassing 20 yards and scoring twice. Of his four total touchdowns, three came versus New England in week 13. Tate was a non-factor in short yardage situations.