After playing his first 15 NFL seasons with the franchise, it appears that future Hall of Fame tight end Antonio Gates’ career with the Chargers has come to an end.
While Gates would like nothing more than to return to Los Angeles next season, the team reportedly has other ideas.
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 means that Gates will either retire or play for another team in 2018.
The 37-year-old former undrafted free agent out of Kent State will end his Chargers career ranked No. 1 on the franchise’s all-time list in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
Los Angeles’ decision has as much to do with Gates’ lack of recent production as it has to do with the emergence of 2016 second-round pick Hunter Henry. Gates tallied 30 receptions for 316 yards last season. Meanwhile, Henry put up a 45-579 stat line.