LaDainian Tomlinson thinks Antonio Gates only wants to play for Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers made the surprising move to part ways with tight end Antonio Gates this offseason. The Chargers legend still has yet to sign with any team as a free agent.
Former running back LaDainian Tomlinson feel there is a good reason for that. Tomlinson said during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio that Gates would rather retire than not play for the Chargers:
“I believe the only place Antonio wants to play is the Chargers………..I think he has the mind frame of ‘if I go play its gonna be for the Chargers if its not the Chargers then I’m good, I won’t play”
Of course, this is all just speculation from Tomlinson. However, his comments certainly carry weight given all the years they spent as teammates during one of the greatest eras in team history. That said, Tomlinson may be well-aware of Gates’ allegiance to the Chargers.
If it is indeed true, it just makes the dilemma all the more heartbreaking. Los Angeles made plenty of changes to help them bounce back from a disappointing 2017 campaign. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of the future Hall of Famer.
What makes the move even more disappointing is how much the Chargers are in desperate need of another tight end with the season-ending injury to Hunter Henry. Even quarterback Philip Rivers has expressed his dismay at the departure of his favorite pass-catcher.
Although he may not be the elite receiver he once was, Gates still makes for a viable option in this offense. However, it remains to be seen whether or not he is willing to lend his services to a team not named the Chargers.