Report: Los Angeles Chargers do not plan on re-signing Antonio Gates
Through his first 15 seasons in the NFL, Former Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates has spent his entire career with the San Diego-Los Angeles Chargers. He has been one of the foundational pieces of the offense over that span has been arguably the most reliable receiving option over that stretch.
However, it appears that his tenure with the Chargers has come to an end as Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the franchise has informed Gates that they will not work out a new deal with him this offseason for the 2018 campaign.
While TE Jason Witten is preparing to retire, TE Antonio Gates wants to continue playing, though the Charges informed him this off-season they do not plan to bring him back to LA, per league source.
It means one of top all-time TEs is now willing to finish his career elsewhere.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 27, 2018
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given the lack of communication between the two sides for much of the first few months of the offseason as recent as earlier this week. Gates has been on the open market without any significant interest from any other team at this point in time. There had initially been talks that Los Angeles wanted to bring him back, but that has since wavered as the months have passed.
The 37-year-old is far from the player he once was but has been a key piece to the puzzle despite fellow tight end Hunter Henry taking grasp of the starting role in the offense. Gates has remained a big threat in the red zone as he racked up 30 catches on 52 targets for 316 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions. He has shown to still be a durable player despite his play tailing off as he has played in all 16 games for the seventh time in his career in the 2017 season.
Regardless of what happens from this point on, Gates has put together a Hall of Fame-worthy career as he’s just the second tight end and ninth player overall to record 100 career touchdown receptions. He is also currently 13th in overall touchdowns and sixth in touchdown receptions, leading all active players.
Gates has earned eight Pro Bowl selections, three First-Team All-Pro nods, two Second-Team All-Pro selections, an NFL 2000s All-Decade Team nod, and was chosen to be part of the Chargers’ 50th Anniversary team.