Antonio Gates has been one of the main names that come to mind when thinking about the Los Angeles Chargers for years. He and Philip Rivers have been the faces of the franchise and seeing him elsewhere would seem strange. Despite the fact that he is still a free agent, the Chargers have not ruled out re-signing him.
According to a report shared by NFL.com, the Chargers are still considering bringing Gates back for one more season. Los Angeles general manager Tom Telesco talked about the possibility of re-signing Gates.
“Would be a natural fit, right? I saw that Philip voted for it. 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.”
Rivers voting to bring Gates back should not come as a surprise to anyone. The duo has been consistently dominant over the years and have developed a close friendship. With Hunter Henry tearing his ACL, the Chargers could very well be looking for some help at the tight end position, which could lead to a phone call being placed to Gates.
During the 2017 NFL season with the Chargers, Gates ended up catching 30 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns. His age has been showing the last couple of seasons, but he still has a bit left in the tank. If the Chargers were to reach out and offer him a one-year deal, there is very little doubt that he would accept.
In a recent interview, Rivers publicly stated that he would like to see Gates back on the roster for 2018.
“I’d always be excited if [Gates] walked back in the door. It would get my vote.”
At 37 years of age, Gates is coming down to his last couple of years in the NFL. It will be a sad day for the league when he decides to hang his cleats up, as he has been an excellent player on the field and an even better person off the field. Gates has become a very big part of the community in San Diego and Los Angeles.
Needless to say, it will be interesting to see if the Chargers pursue Gates for the 2018 season. He certainly isn’t the star that he once was, but he is more than capable of making a difference on the field.
Expect to see Gates sign a contract at some point before training camp. He may choose to retire if the Chargers don’t reach out to him, but after these comments, it would be a surprise if they don’t.