Chargers QB Geno Smith hopes LA brings back Antonio Gates
Near the onset of the NFL offseason, the Los Angeles Chargers decided to part ways with former Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates after 15 seasons. The team had hoped that Hunter Henry could take on the primary role at the position this upcoming campaign, but a torn ACL has changed that game plan up entirely.
It has also put a possible return for Gates back to the Chargers in the picture at least for the 2018 campaign. With that in mind, backup quarterback Geno Smith has voiced that he’s hoping that Los Angeles brings back Gates, via TMZ Sports.
“I don’t know we will see. I hope so. Gates is a legend.”
Although Smith has yet to play with Gates in his career, there is clearly an enormous amount of respect for what he brings to the table. The 38-year-old has put together an illustrious career that should one day land him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which he has continued to show that he can be a productive contributor in the passing game.
Gates’ production may no longer be at an elite level, but he is still a strong asset in the red zone that has a strong bond with Pro Bowl quarterback Phillip Rivers that should continue to allow for him to produce. In the 2017 season, he recorded 30 catches on 52 targets for 316 receiving yards and three touchdowns while playing in all 16 regular-season games for the first time in three years.
The opportunity is there for the Chargers to bring him back; it may simply be on them to work something out with Gates that will have him back in the fold for at least one more season. With the start of training camp quickly approaching, this could ramp up the team’s efforts in possibly bringing him back.