Earlier this year, the Chargers informed Antonio Gates that they would not re-sign him for a 16th season with the Bolts. However, their situation has changed in recent days after Hunter Henry‘s season-ending ACL tear.
“We’ll look at all the options that are out there. We’ve got time to do it right now,” GM Ted Telesco said when asked about Gates earlier this week.
Gates, 38 in June, isn’t quite the player he was in 2009, but he was highly productive as recently as two years ago when he caught 53 passes for 548 yards and seven scores. On a limited snap count, Gates could help replace some of Henry’s production in 2018, even if he doesn’t match his 12.9 yards per catch average.
Gates’ familiarity with the Chargers’ offense and personnel also shouldn’t be discounted. He’s been catching passes from Philip Rivers since 2004 while earning eight Pro Bowl nods and three First-Team All-Pro selections along the way.
The 6’4″ tight end probably represents the splashiest move they could make, but he’s not the only noteworthy tight end available. Julius Thomas, Brent Celek, and Coby Fleener are all out there for the taking and it’s possible that one of those three players would be more amicable to playing in a limited role than Gates.
Alternatively, the Chargers could patch things up at TE by shifting sixth-round rookie Dylan Cantrell from receiver to tight end. Cantrell has the height (6’3″) and may have blocking ability ability to make the move, but he’s untested.
All things considered, do you think the Chargers should change course and re-sign Gates? Cast your vote below and support your decision in the comment section.
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