Wide receiver Golden Tate is entering the final year of the five-year contract he signed ahead of the 2014 season, but the eight-year veteran insists that whatever happens beyond the 2018 season is the furthest thing from his mind right now.
"I pay my agent a lot of money and I just told him, 'Look, I want to just play football and I'll let you guys handle that and just let me go into camp free-minded, just perform, be the best I possibly can, especially with all the new components with the coaching and things going [on] around the facility. I don't really have time to really think about contracts and all that.'
Tate has taken the philosophy of controlling what he can control, and relying on the rest of it to take care of itself.
"My contract says I have one more season, so I'm taking the mindset that I'm going to play out this season the best I possibly can. Help the Detroit Lions win games week in and week out."
In his two-plus seasons as Detroit's general manager, Bob Quinn has worked out contract extensions during this time of year. Last year, it was quarterback Matthew Stafford and safety Glover Quin. In 2016, cornerback Darius Slay, running back Theo Riddick and punter Sam Martin worked out new deals before the start of the regular season.
Tate led the Lions with 92 receptions last season and chipped in 1,003 yards and five scores. He's become the first player in franchise history, and just the seventh player in league history, to record 90-plus receptions in four consecutive seasons. Tate's accumulated total receptions of 99 (2014), 90 (2015), 91 (2016) and 92 (2017) in his four seasons in Detroit.
He's also consistently been among the league leaders in yards after the catch and forcing missed tackles. His 116 forced missed tackles are the most among all NFL receivers since 2013, per Pro Football Focus statistics.
Tate's ability to make people miss is one of the reasons he believes he's still going strong, and will continue to go strong, even after his 30th birthday on Aug. 2.
"All those hits will catch up with you sooner or later, but I feel good," he said. "I feel young. It's like I'm running around and flying around with these young guys and I feel like I'm still productive."
It's worth noting Tate has played in every game since coming to Detroit.
"The most important thing is being available and durable in this league," he said. "I take a lot of pride in that. If there's a way I can play, I'm going to play. I think we can say that about several guys – Matthew Stafford, he's going to play if he can play.
"That's just how I'm wired. Unless I can't walk or run, I'm going to be out here. I just love the game. I love playing the game. When I signed up for this I knew there would be times I was hurting, but there's a difference between being hurt and injured. I just try and find a way."