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
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (illness) is expected to miss Week 9 against the Eagles. Updating a previous item, Clowney appears to be over his early-season knee injury. But he is dealing with an illness. Clowney's absence is an upgrade to Nick Foles'...
Oct 31 1:11PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Arian Foster's caddie is in no danger of missing Week 9.
Oct 30 3:41PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. Johnson was never in any danger of missing Sunday's game against the Eagles. With six teams on bye for Week 9, Johnson is a WR1.
Oct 30 3:40PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. The Texans are just managing their superstar back's reps. With DeMarco Murray facing the Cardinals' elite run defense, there's a case to be made for Foster as Week 9's No. 1...
Oct 30 3:39PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. Blue got first-team reps with Arian Foster (knee) not practicing. The Texans also held out Andre Johnson (ankle) on Wednesday.
Oct 29 5:15PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps for rest purposes. He didn't suffer any setbacks last week and should be fine for Sunday's game against the Eagles.
Oct 29 3:43PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) did not practice Wednesday. It's a new injury for Foster. Coming off his three-touchdown performance, it's possible the Texans are getting him some rest. Foster will be a top-three running back in Week...
Oct 29 3:18PM Read More
Zac Diles - LB
Texans signed LB Zac Diles. CB Elbert Mack was waived in a corresponding roster move. Diles' addition is a sign the Texans aren't expecting Brian Cushing (knee) back for Week 9.
Oct 28 4:04PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham was held without a catch in the Texans' Week 8 win over Tennessee. Graham was targeted just one time on the day, a seam shot from Ryan Fitzpatrick that predictably fell incomplete. Graham has been a very minor part of the offense, making...
Oct 26 4:53PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 55 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Johnson saw a team-high dozen targets. He was followed by Titans top CB Jason McCourty for much of the afternoon, leaving DeAndre Hopkins to work on sophomore Blidi...
Oct 26 4:44PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught five passes for 95 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Hopkins was targeted 11 times compared to 12 for Andre Johnson. Hopkins picked up chunk yards on all of his grabs, and was stopped at the five-yard line on one grab where...
Oct 26 4:24PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Blue added a 22-yard catch. With the Texans clobbering the Titans late and Arian Foster having already piled up 173 yards and three touchdowns, Blue got plenty of run late...
Oct 26 4:11PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed just 19-of-35 passes for 227 yards, one touchdown, and zero... Fitzpatrick was pretty bad for most of the day, begging to be picked off, but the Texans rode Arian Foster's legs to victory. Fitzpatrick's lone touchdown went to Foster on...
Oct 26 3:45PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-16, Week 8... Foster managed just 36 yards on his first 10 carries, but broke a 34-yard touchdown and had no trouble finding holes in the Tennessee defense from there on. Foster caught a...
Oct 26 3:21PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is active for Week 8 against the Titans. Clowney will play on a "pitch count," likely in pass-rushing and third-down situations. Good luck with Clowney and J.J. Watt, Zach Mettenberger. Inactive for the...
Oct 26 10:34AM Read More

More Team Talk