Gates, who checked in at No. 73 on this year’s list, said on NFL Network that he wasn’t happy about that. And he indicated that he doesn’t believe the players who filled out ballots for this year’s Top 100 actually saw him play, if they don’t think he’s better than the 73rd best player in the league.
“Apparently they don’t watch football,” Gates said. “I understand everyone’s opinion. Some people are stat guys, some people are into who catches the touchdowns, who has 100-something catches. A lot of people are not interested into what the game plan is about, what guys demand the game plan every single week, week in and week out, [and] what guys demand double teams. I can go on down the list. It is funny to me because it is a joke, in a sense, so it is kind of funny. It is a voice of an opinion. I go out and do what I can do and try to help us win football games. It is always frustrating to see you placed so low. At the same time, it gives me a little chip on my shoulder to come back next year and prove I am one of the better tight ends in the league.”
With 49 catches for 538 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012, Gates had his least productive season since his rookie year. Considering that, it would be easy to conclude that Gates was actually rated higher than he deserved because his reputation exceeded his production.
And at No. 73, Gates is still in the top 5 percent of all players in the NFL. That’s not a slap in the face, despite what Gates seems to think.