NFL

WR Tate apologizes for ‘unacceptable’ behavior

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate apologized to the team last week and took full responsibility for self-described “unacceptable” behavior that got him benched for last week’s game against the Washington Football Team.

Tate, speaking for the first time since yelling “Throw me the ball!” into the camera following a late touchdown in a Monday night loss to Tampa Bay and liking a tweet asking the Giants to cut him, was contrite Friday as he answered a barrage of questions about a rocky 11 days and season. He said his intentions were not to try to get himself traded prior to last week’s deadline as his role with the team continued to shrink.

“If you know me, if you know my game, I play with a lot of emotion. A lot of passion,” Tate said. “I just got caught up in the moment. I was wrong to draw attention to myself. I take full responsibility for that. I handled it the wrong way and, again, brought negative attention to our organization. It was something that won’t happen again.”

Coach Joe Judge had Tate working with the scout team as a result of his actions last week. He did not make the trip with the team to Washington.

The two met last week in what Tate considered a productive meeting where they came up with solutions for the betterment of the team. That apparently included the benching.

“I was definitely disappointed, but there are consequences for your actions,” Tate said. “My actions were unacceptable and I apologized to the team, GM, the coaches, the offense and I’m excited to move forward.

“But I did have fun on scout team. That was fun. I enjoyed it. Got a chance to make some plays and get the defense ready. I enjoyed it.”

Tate, 32, signed a four-year, $37 million deal last year, the headline free-agent acquisition of the Giants’ offseason as they tried to fill the void created by the trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns.

Tate has just 22 catches on 29 targets for 226 yards with two touchdowns this season with a reduced role. He had been playing just over 50% of the offensive snaps the past few weeks prior to his benching.

The Giants were open to trading Tate at the deadline, but he isn’t going anywhere now and has two years remaining on his contract.

“I plan to honor my contract the best I possibly can,” Tate said. “Like I said earlier, I want to be here. I love this organization, what it represents and the direction we’re headed in and hopefully I’m a part of it.”

Judge had said earlier in the week that the intention was to have Tate back on the field Sunday against Philadelphia. That was before he popped up on the injury report Thursday with a knee injury.

Tate practiced Friday and Judge said prior to the practice that he was “optimistic” about his prospects for this week. The former Pro Bowl receiver seemed to be moving well.

It has been quite the eventful season for Tate. He missed the opener with a hamstring injury suffered during training camp, fought Jalen Ramsey (the father of his nieces) at midfield following a game in Week 4 and expressed his displeasure with his role in front of a national audience earlier this month against the Bucs.

The situation was exacerbated by his wife posting an Instagram story where she vented about his lack of opportunities. The post was later deleted.

“I wasn’t aware at the time that it happened that she had said anything,” Tate said. “But in my wife’s defense, she is, and will always be my biggest fan. I disagree with her taking it public, but that is one thing: I’ll always have her back and I know she was, in her mind, protecting me and she was calling it as she saw it at the time without having talked to me and understood what had happened prior to that.

“It’s unfortunate that we drew, collectively, this type of attention to our organization when we’re trying to win a ball game. For that, I felt the need to apologize to this entire organization for drawing that negative attention, for one, and also my body language on the field. From here on, we don’t ever have to worry about that ever again.”

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