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Chargers GM says Philip Rivers’ vote for Antonio Gates returning ‘noted and accounted for’

Antonio Gates, Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers recently made a move that most saw coming. The team parted ways with longtime tight end Antonio Gates making the future Hall of Famer a free agent. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, starter Hunter Henry went down with a season-ending knee injury during OTAs causing a bit of an awkward and difficult situation.

The loss of Henry devastating to the team’s offense as he was quickly emerging as one of the best tight ends in the NFL and an ideal successor to Gates at the position. However, with Henry done for the year, it would make sense to bring back Gates for another season and star quarterback Philip Rivers seems to agree.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco recently talked about Rivers’ plea to get Gates back in Los Angeles and the process the team is currently taking as a result of Henry’s injury on the team’s website, transcription via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk.

“Would be a natural fit, right? I saw that Philip voted for it,” Telesco said. “When it comes to roster moves, we are not a democracy. But we are not a dictatorship either. His vote was noted and accounted for. Antonio’s accomplishments and contributions to this organization are immeasurable. We will see what the future holds. I don’t have an update at this time.”

Although it seems like a logical move to bring back Gates on a one-year deal to help fill the void left by Henry, the team signed a rookie tight end this week potentially showing their intentions. Los Angeles signed Austin Roberts who went undrafted to join the team also has Braedon Bowman, Virgil Green, and Sean Culkin at the position.

At this point, it is uncertain what the team intends to do at tight end. Despite the logic of Gates’ return, Telesco was unwilling to admit that could be a course of action and signing Roberts may have been a sign they don’t want to make that move.