Chargers Want Gates To Sign Before Camp

Antonio Gates is still on the Chargers’ radar, but the team doesn’t want to wait forever for a deal to come together. It would be the Bolts’ preference for the tight end to re-sign with the team before camp starts, a team source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). 

In April, the Chargers announced that Gates would not be re-signed. However, things changed when tight end Hunter Henry went down with a season-ending injury. With a TE group consisting of Virgil GreenSean Culkin, and Braedon Bowman, the 38-year-old Gates may stand as their best option.

“Losing Hunter was a blow at the time, it is now but you have to overcome it,” GM Tom Telesco said recently. “That’s what you have to do.”

A Gates return would be well received in L.A., and quarterback Philip Rivers is among those pushing for it. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Gates will be re-signed, however.

“Would be a natural fit, right? I saw that Philip voted for it. When it comes to roster moves, we are not a democracy,” Telesco said in June. “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.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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6 comments on “Chargers Want Gates To Sign Before Camp

  1. tharrie0820

    So basically, they didn’t want gates, but now they’re desperate for a TE and want him back

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    • connfyoozed

      All that you say is likely true, but it might be that the Chargers want Gates back at their price, not his. So it might come down to whether Gates wants to play for less money than he prefers, or if Gates is willing to instead wait and hope that another team comes knocking.

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      • crosseyedlemon

        I don’t think Antonio is interested in playing for another team and money probably isn’t an issue either. I suspect he has the same concern that James Harrison had. If your a future Hall of Famer you want some assurance of playing time and not end up just wasting away on the sidelines.

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        • connfyoozed

          Good point, and since I’m a Steeler fan I probably should have thought of that possibility. Then again, I can’t see Gates sitting behind any of the Chargers’ current TEs except Green, who is there more for his blocking than his receiving. They are going to have to bring in someone, so setting a loose deadline of the start of training camp makes sense so that if Gates doesn’t agree to terms, the team can move on and look elsewhere.

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  2. crosseyedlemon

    I guess they want Antonio signed before camp so they have a clearer financial picture for managing other contracts. His physical presence in camp is not that important as he has been with the organization forever and can probably recite the entire playbook in his sleep.

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  3. bowserhound

    He is most likely waiting until they beg, and I wouldn’t blame him. They said they didn’t want him back and suddenly they need him back. Leverage is all on his side.
    They either pay him what he wants or try to find another good TE…that already knows the playbook and has a great history with Rivers. Good luck!

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