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Golden Tate Returns at the Perfect Time For Daniel Jones and the Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 16: Golden Tate #15 of the New York Giants takes the field before the game against the Chicago Bears during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 16, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Rice-to-Montana. Aikman-to-Irvin. Brady-to-heck, anyone.

Jones-to-Tate?

Obviously, it's very, very, very premature to start writing Daniel Jones' Hall-of-Fame speech, even if New York Giants fans have already inducted him into their personal Cantons. But it's clear that Jones is the future, especially now that the Giants are back at .500 and appear competitive after winning their past two games with him at the helm.

After an excellent preseason and a show-stopping debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one that concluded with Jones handling matters himself via a game-winning rushing touchdown, the New York tabloids (and a certain First Take host) did the unthinkable: admit they might've been wrong about the Duke draft pick that went too high in everyone's eyes.

Sunday against Washington came with Jones' first signs of struggle. He threw interceptions on back-to-back drives and struggled, at times, to put the Redskins away. The Giants prevailed 24-3, but the slate is only about to get more difficult with the Vikings, Patriots, Lions, and Cowboys coming up this fall.

Enter Golden Tate.

Whether he likes it or not, Tate will be forever connected to Odell Beckham Jr. in the minds of Giants fans. After all, Tate was the prominent receiver brought in after the organization shipped Beckham Jr. to Cleveland. Tate has never been the Beckham-type, one that can single-handedly turn the game on its head, but he's still been an NFL staple for nearly a decade, one that has proved reliable and a dangerous player with the ball in his hands.

Originally, some saw him as perhaps a final retirement gift for Eli Manning. Now, he could be the first veteran pass-catcher Jones comes to trust.

Tate is set to make his NFL debut on Sunday as the Giants take on the Minnesota Vikings. He was suspended for the first four games of the year after testing positive for a banned substance. Now that he's back, he'll be a boon for the young quarterback, and will play a crucial role in Jones' development.

The great quarterbacks all had a veteran receiver to help them out in the early going. Not all of them went on join their QB in football immortality, but they still helped their young franchise face get on the right track. For example, the early years of Drew Brees saw him team up with Keenan McCardell (917 receiving yards in 2005, Brees' fourth year as a full-time starter). Brady worked together with New England staples like Troy Brown and Terry Glenn as they began the transition from Drew Bledsoe. Even Manning himself knows the concept works, as his early years were dominated with targets to Amani Toomer.

Tate likely won't go down in the same sentence as Beckham and the other great Giants receivers. But he has a chance to make an impact in this interesting time on the New York timeline.