Tate done thinking about contract year at camp

Tate done thinking about contract year at camp
July 29, 2013, 8:30 am
Share This Post

Ben Tate knows what’s at stake this season. He’s just not trying to think about it.

The former second-round pick out of Auburn is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract with the Texans. If he has a year like he did in 2011, he’ll be in line for a big pay day and will likely be a starter somewhere in the NFL. If not, he’ll have missed his chance at an extremely lucrative deal.

“Nah, man,” Tate said when asked on Sunday if he thinks about entering a contract year. “Right now I’m locked in and just focused on football. If I play football and do that well, that’ll take care of itself. So, not at all.”

In the final year of that four-year deal in 2013, Tate will earn a base salary of $575,000. During spring workouts, Tate acknowledged this is a big year for him, a chance to prove himself and earn a nice new contract. But he said he’s not using the looming contract year as motivation. Not anymore at least.

“It was motivation in the offseason to work but now I’m here, it’s time to go,” he said. “I’m thinking about football, football things and football only.”

Tate has played in 26 games since being taken in the 2010 draft. He missed his entire rookie season with a broken ankle. Last season, he missed four games with a hamstring injury and wasn’t very effective when he did play. He ran for 279 yards on 65 attempts in 2012.

But sandwiched in between those two years of injuries was a year that makes plenty of people across the league think Tate is a starter in the NFL. In 2011, he ran for 942 yards on 175 attempts, good for an average of 5.4 yards per carry. He also scored four rushing touchdowns.  

“I have said it all the time,” Arian Foster said. “I have been saying it since I first got here. Ben Tate is a starter in this league. He can go to other teams and start, easily. He is a very, very talented running back.  We have long talks and I always tell him, ‘be patient, you’re time is going to come whether it’s here or somewhere else.’

“He deserves it, he works hard so it’s fun to see him get a little bit of burn when I’m not in there. He knows how this league goes and I know how this league goes, so he is very patient and his opportunity is going to come whether it’s here or somewhere else.”

Tate has been working with the first unit while Foster is recovering from a calf injury he suffered this spring.

Foster ran the ball an NFL-high 351 times last year. Tate will be very instrumental in taking away some of those carries from Foster in 2013. Foster was brought in by the Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2009. He and Tate have been friends since Tate was drafted in 2010.

“It just shows his respect for me,” Tate said. “He’s been around me since I’ve been here. He knows how hard I work and how much I want to be considered one of the top guys. He understands that. I still don’t back down from him every day. We have that friendship, you know, but it’s still very, very competitive.”

Tate has played more than 11 games just once in his three-year career but said he feels completely healthy in training camp and is ready for the 2013 season.

“I’m fine now,” Tate said. “I’m ready to go.”

Texans - Team News
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps coming off Monday night's loss. He'll remain a WR2 for Week 8 against the Titans.
Oct 22 5:22PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster was limited in Wednesday's practice. The Texans listed Foster as "not injury related," but he missed practice time last week with a groin issue. Foster has a matchup with the Titans' No. 22 ranked run...
Oct 22 5:15PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
According to HoustonTexans.com, there's a "decent chance" Jadeveon Clowney (knee)... "He feels good," coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "Well see how it goes this week in practice. We'll be able to make a determination pretty soon about whether...
Oct 21 3:58PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham caught two passes for 24 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers. Graham was targeted three times, but dropped the other. It can be considered one of Graham's better statistical games of the season, which obviously means he's nowhere near...
Oct 20 11:31PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught five passes for 77 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins each saw a team-high nine targets. There was nothing special about Johnson's night. His biggest play was a 24-yard grab on a deep in route in...
Oct 20 11:25PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught six passes for 108 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Hopkins and Andre Johnson each saw a team-high nine targets. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw it to whichever receiver was working against embattled Steelers CB Cortez Allen. ...
Oct 20 11:16PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 14 yards on five carries and caught an 11-yard touchdown in the Texans'... Blue was the vulture on the opening-drive 11-yard score after Arian Foster managed 59 rushing yards to get the Texans near the goal line. Foster is an every-down back,...
Oct 20 11:09PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 21-of-32 passes for 262 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception... Fitzpatrick played well for much of the first half, leading the Texans on three consecutive scoring drives to open the game. It was a train wreck thereafter. One play...
Oct 20 10:56PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-23, Week 7 loss to the... Foster got off to a blazing start, rushing for 59 yards on the Texans' 94-yard opening touchdown drive, but was vultured by Alfred Blue for the 11-yard touchdown catch to...
Oct 20 10:47PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is inactive for Monday night's Week 7 game against the Steelers. Clowney's lateral agility wasn't where the Texans wanted it to be in pre-game warmups. He's been out since undergoing knee surgery after Week 1. Whitney Mercilus is...
Oct 20 6:09PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins (hand) is probable for Week 7. The Texans listed Hopkins on the injury report, but his status was never in doubt. He'll be a WR3 for Monday night against the Steelers.
Oct 18 2:54PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (groin) is probable for Monday night's game against the Steelers. Foster was limited on Thursday, but practiced in full the last two days. He should have another heavy workload against a Steelers defense that's allowing 4.4 yards per carry...
Oct 18 2:48PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) was upgraded to full in Saturday's practice and is listed as probable for... Johnson is good to go for Monday night's matchup with the Steelers. He's Rotoworld's No. 15 receiver this week.
Oct 18 2:39PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is listed as questionable for Monday night's game against... Clowney got in two limited practices this week, but said he still "can't run laterally." He could be held out in an attempt to get fully healthy for Week 8. If...
Oct 18 2:20PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) returned to practice Friday. It was Clowney's first practice since undergoing knee surgery in Week 1. He's expected to be a game-time decision for Monday night. Clowney will likely be on a limited snap...
Oct 17 6:08PM Read More