Antonio Gates Leaning Towards Return

This may be the end of the line for Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith and Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware, but Antonio Gates feels that he still has lots of football left in him. The veteran says that he is “definitely leaning toward coming back,” Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego tweetsAntonio Gates

[RELATED: Chargers Move Kenneth Farrow To IR]

This is not the way I expected to be done. I’m definitely leaning toward coming back,” Gates said in a likely reference to the Chargers’ 5-10 record heading into the season finale.

In 13 games this year, Gates has 48 catches for 493 yards and six touchdowns. Even though he’ll turn 37 in June, it seems like Gates can still be a highly productive tight end. Hunter Henry may be next in line at the position, but the Bolts surely want to keep Gates around for as long as possible. He is under contract for 2017 with a base salary of $4.5MM.

Gates and the Chargers will wrap up the season against the Chiefs on Jan. 1. As of this writing, the Chargers are slated to have the No. 7 overall pick in the draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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One comment on “Antonio Gates Leaning Towards Return

  1. PLyons

    Didn’t Gates enter the NFL without any college football experience? I wonder why this model isn’t copied more often as athletes of all shapes and sizes can play in the NFL with little prior in-game experience. Some even change positions. Perhaps, if parents and education decision makers want to protect their young, they can offer safer alternatives to helmet-style football while still giving those athletes an outlet to develop their prowess. Such a change could help lead to a philosophical change in football and make the sport a much less barbaric game.
    If it worked for Gates and other non-traditional players, it can certainly work for more.

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