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Former Pro Bowl WR Golden Tate makes switch to baseball

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Golden Tate hasn't played in the NFL since 2020.

So he's trying his hand at baseball.

The 11-year NFL veteran signed with the Washington-based Port Angeles Lefties of the West Coast League on Tuesday. The WCL announced the signing alongside a statement from Tate.

“I am extremely thankful to the West Coast League and the Port Angeles Lefties for allowing me to join their league," Tate said, per the statement. "As some might know, I was drafted twice in baseball. As a child, my first love was baseball, so I’m excited about the opportunity to compete against some of the best young players in the league."

The WCL is primarily a developmental summer league for college players with a stated commitment "to developing aspiring pros." It appears content to make an exception for a 33-year-old Tate and the attention he shines on the league as a former NFL Pro Bowler.

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 27:  New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate (15) walks off of the field at the end of the first half during a regular season game between the New York Giants and the Detroit Lions on October 27, 2019 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
After 11 NFL seasons, Golden Tate is playing baseball. (Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Tate was indeed drafted twice by MLB teams. The Arizona Diamondbacks selected him out of high school in the 42nd round in 2007. Tate opted instead to play football and baseball at Notre Dame. The San Francisco Giants then drafted him out of college in the 50th round after Tate started in the outfield for the Fighting Irish, where he hit .329 in 55 games as a sophomore.

Tate thrived as a wide receiver for the Irish, tallying 93 catches for 1,496 yards and 15 touchdowns during a junior season that saw him garner Heisman Trophy votes. The Seattle Seahawks selected him in the second round of the 2010 draft, and he played in the NFL until being released by the New York Giants last offseason.

He played with the Seahawks, Detroit Lions and Giants before the Giants cut him following a tumultuous 2020 season that saw him suspended for a game by then-head coach Joe Judge amid complaints that he wasn't getting the ball enough. The Giants were a mess under Judge, and Tate's release might have been a blessing in disguise.

Now he gets the rare shot of pursuing a second childhood dream after living another.

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