Antonio Gates calls his No. 73 ranking “a joke”

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Add Chargers tight end Antonio Gates to the list of people who think the voting for NFL Network’s Top 100 players is seriously flawed.

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.

130 responses to “Antonio Gates calls his No. 73 ranking “a joke”

  1. Cant say I disagree with him…

    Imagine if he had Brady, Brees, Rodgers or Manning throwing to him. He has Rivers who shot puts the ball to him.

  2. The joke are these silly Top 100 shows, and the even sillier debates that follow.

    How about showing us some old school games as off season filler instead of this junk?

  3. Gates is sooo stupid. He can’t stay healthy. If he would just man up and be truthful with himself, he’d acknowledge that his ranking is justified.

  4. gates should spend less time at the all you can eat buffets, maybe that and actually being on the field producing would help his ranking. Frankly, I’m surprised he’s even on the list, he’s overrated.

  5. Gates is an absolute monster when healthy. Arguably best in the league..

    But he’s been injured the last few years. I think the ranking is deserved.

  6. This just in; a professional athlete feels disrespected, gets chip on shoulder, and will now show em all how good he is!! In tomorrow’s news, the sun is expected to come up.

  7. I’m shocked as well. Shocked he’s that high. Play more that 2-3 games in a row without getting hurt, then we’ll talk.

  8. Dear Antonio, this number would have been a joke 4-5 years ago.

    You had 49 catches last year for 538 yards, you haven’t got over 1000 yards in 4 years.

  9. He should be lucky he even made the list after the couple of “Off” Years he’s had. People were talking as if he was gonna be the best TE ever. Anyways… Whatup MDS #NumbersNeverLie lol

  10. Wait, the guys who are playing football at the same time as Gates don’t get to watch him play?

  11. Dear Antonio,

    You’re old, bro. Accept it. Hell I’d be proud to be #100 on this list.

  12. Deal with it. I strongly believe he is slowing down and his injuries are beggining to take a toll. Then again with that sieve of an offensive line how much time does Rivers have.

  13. Didn’t Players vote on this? Hell..Big Ben didn’t make the list at all and he was pro bowl bound untill he got hurt. Gates IA one of the best TEs in football..but his numbers THIS year didn’t show it..or atleast not what we expected

  14. It really is a joke, the man can’t run at all anymore.

    He shouldn’t be ranked at all.

    Choo choo!

  15. Gates disagrees? That’s cool. I think he was already ranked way too high based on his production in 2012. Nothing I’d like better than for him to prove me wrong in 2013…c’mon Antonio Tasty Cakes!

  16. If you want to be rated on your ability to help your team win games, then you might want to make the playoffs…After the season Gates had last year, #73 is ridiculously generous. Maybe he does not know this is not a lifetime acheivement vote?

  17. I always liked Gates. I still do but a little less now after his comment. To have a bruised ego from this means his ego is too big.

  18. Antonio Gates is delusional. Top 100 of the NFL is elite company. Does he not realize there are 22 positions on offense and defense, as well as punters and kickers? He is a great player winding down his career, so he should be proud to make the top 80. He may be the 5th-6th best tight end in the league now, so being that far down at your position and still a top 80 player is pretty amazing really.

  19. man that crack must be good in D.C

    real top 5 Tight Ends

    5) Jason Witten
    4) Tony Gonzales
    3) Aaron Hernandez
    2) Jimmy Graham
    1) Rob Gronkowski

    then if we keep going it would be something like Dennis Pitta, Kyle Rudolph, Jermaine Gresham, Brandon Myers, Vernon Davis, Owen Daniels, Martellus Bennett, Antonio Gates, Greg Olson, Jared Cook, Brandon Pettigrew, and then maybe Fred Davis

  20. That list actually would be fairly Reasonable minus Fred Davis lol. Witten is approximately 60,000 times better than him

  21. Hes right that the whole thing is a huge joke and no one should take it seriously. But hes wrong if he thinks that his ranking was bad. Couple his poor play with the Chargers miserable season, you could argue that the only reason he even made the list is because of his name recognition.

  22. Don’t worry Antonio, we’ll always have that time my keeper FF league’s autodrafter fired when I was on a business trip, causing me to pick up 6 QBs for some reason and, in a resulting hunt for warm bodies, thus caused me grab you as an emergency TE before the start of your rookie season. The resulting years of championship glory are going to help put my kid through college. *electric high five*

  23. I think Antonio Gates is very good, but so is nearly everybody who plays in the NFL. Yes, this voting system is seriously flawed but to imply that his fellow NFL players don’t really understand the finer points of football–game plans, who gets double teamed, the role of stats–is somewhat silly. You didn’t have a good year but neither did your team. A ranking of 73 is a gift.

  24. logicalvoiccsays says:
    May 10, 2013 12:22 PM
    Top 5 Tight Ends

    5) Vernon Davis
    4) Tony Gonzales
    3) Fred Davis
    2) Jimmy Graham
    1) Rob Gronkowski

    Fred Davis? That spot belongs to Heath Miller. One of the most underrated players of all time. That man is a beast. As much I hate the Ravens, both Pitta and Dickson are better than Davis.

  25. I think that Hernandez should of been ranked higher than Gates. He has alot more to offer with his skill set.

  26. while i understand where hes comin from. id have to say gates is lucky 2 even be on it after last year.. he didnt do much last year i can name over 100 players that was more productive in 2012 than gates..idk why hes whining he shouldnt of even made the list

  27. logicalvoiccsays says:Top 5 Tight Ends

    5) Vernon Davis
    4) Tony Gonzales
    3) Fred Davis
    2) Jimmy Graham
    1) Rob Gronkowski

    You obviously jumped the gun, before you thought this through.Jason Witten is a top 5 TE, son, and even Cowboy haters know this! Fred Davis,gimme a break!Aaron Hernandez is a helluva lot better than him. But then again it’s your opinion. But it’s my opinion to tell you it’s nothing but stupidity.

  28. After how he played last year, I’d rather see him cut RIGHT NOW, than ever play another snap for my Chargers. Mind you I’m a charger fan, and he wasn’t even a decoy last year.

    He got old and slow, and the fact he’s making as much as he does, means he will be nothing but a rock in the shoe of every other Charger on the field

    Also having him in Fantasy, there were several weeks he put up close to ZERO POINTS. What Antonio Gates once was, he no longer is.

  29. He was atrocious last season, slower than molasses and couldn’t catch a cold, not sure why he’s even on the list in the first place.

  30. greglloydrules says:
    May 10, 2013 12:40 PM
    logicalvoiccsays says:
    May 10, 2013 12:22 PM
    Top 5 Tight Ends

    5) Vernon Davis
    4) Tony Gonzales
    3) Fred Davis
    2) Jimmy Graham
    1) Rob Gronkowski

    Fred Davis? That spot belongs to Heath Miller. One of the most underrated players of all time. That man is a beast. As much I hate the Ravens, both Pitta and Dickson are better than Davis.

    ed dickson better than fred davis? that is absolutely laughable.

  31. Because of his lack of humility, he just dissed everyone who voted for him, guaranteeing he’ll never again make the top 100 list.

  32. Heath Miller! Soooo underrated. The rest of those dudes don’t block worth a damn ..except for Gonzalez and Whitten..

  33. People care way too much about these lists.. You’d think NFL network would come up with better programming… It’s actually quite lazy but people watch

  34. Top 5 are
    1. Rob gronkowski
    2. Jimmy graham
    3. Jason witten
    4. Vernon Davis
    5. Dennis pitta

  35. A joke? More like a very generous placing!

    Gates has had a great career, but he is a One-Dimensional TE who’s best years are way behind him.

    He is not a top 100 player. Sorry, he just isn’t.

  36. “Imagine if he had Brady, Brees, Rodgers or Manning throwing to him. He has Rivers who shot puts the ball to him.”

    Imagine if he had stud WRs to play with, he’d never see the ball. Rivers used him as his go to guy for too long. His time is up, time to buy a Sonic franchise and eat the profits.

  37. Here is the list the Top 5 TEs in my opinion:
    1. Vernon Davis: Durable, GREAT Blocker, brilliant receiver.
    2. Jason Witten: Durable, Very Good Blocker, brilliant receiver
    3. Gronk: would be #1 as he is a beast blocking, and receiving, but he is not as durable as Davis or Witten.
    4. Jimmy Graham: A cog in the machine, but his athletic talent is reminiscent of Kellen Winslow
    5. Tony Gonzalez: The man still can do it at a high level.

    All of those guys are better than Gates. It is not even arguable.

  38. Maybe the players just voted on the 32 yr old TE from a crappy team with 500 yards receiving?

    Everything isn’t a conspiracy.
    Stop surrounding yourself with YES men.

  39. How about we all just get over these stupid lists already? They are always flawed and always will be flawed. It’s personal opinion, not universal fact. And more importantly, who the heck cares?

  40. Something tells me Antonio didn’t read the article about Mean Joe Greene and players more worried about other things rather than TEAM.

  41. If you don’t have Witten as your #1 TE in the league then you’re clueless. Especially the people that have Gronk ahead of him. Dude has had a couple of good seasons and now can’t recover from a freaking broken arm. Witten has been the definition of a professional since joining the league and has had great season after great season and is as durable as they come. Plus the image of him against the Eagles a few years ago getting his helmet ripped off and still running down the field and taking the hit is basically the picture version of his career in a nutshell. You’re not keeping him down.

  42. Yes. In other news he very prideful of his humility.

    Anyhow I was thinking more like the number on his jersey ’85’ as more fitting to his ranking only up until he gets fatter and earns ’99’.

  43. According to the statistics, He’s right. He and Gonzales are at the top. His only problem is, he plays for the Chargers and we all know it’s nothing but a personality vote by those fools on TV. Read the stats before you give a opinion.

  44. I’m tired of all the NFL Network shows. How many times can you watch Top 100, Top 10, Hey Rookie, and Hard Knocks.

    I want vintage NFL Films material NOW. And I’m not talking about the same 5 follies videos you show 4 times a week.

  45. The only thing worse then the top 100 show is the talking about the ratings afterwards. The whole thing is totally ridiculous. Why Antonio or anyone else cares is beyond me.
    In fact it is bad it belongs on ESPN. We can sit and debate players all day. What is the point?
    You can debate Peyton Manning or Tom Brady all day. Is Calvin Johnson better then Adrian Peterson? Just play the games and forget such nonsense.

  46. these rankings are a joke if you think about it. I’m not a Chargers fan but I agree with Gates.

    Gates is going to be a 1st ballot Hall of Famer. Him and Tony Gonzales redefined the tightend position. He is a great player. One of the best of all time. It is a travesty to see a future Hall of Famer ranked in the 70s.

    I agree with Gates. The “experts” who do these rankings are the ones who are a joke!

  47. I cut Gates from my ff team in week 4……his production differance total in the shiva bowl was the deciding margin of victory for my apponent.

  48. fastspecv says: May 10, 2013 1:34 PM

    If you don’t have Witten as your #1 TE in the league then you’re clueless. Especially the people that have Gronk ahead of him. Dude has had a couple of good seasons and now can’t recover from a freaking broken arm. Witten has been the definition of a professional since joining the league and has had great season after great season and is as durable as they come. Plus the image of him against the Eagles a few years ago getting his helmet ripped off and still running down the field and taking the hit is basically the picture version of his career in a nutshell. You’re not keeping him down.
    —————————————————-

    Witten is a great TE, no doubt, I have him #2 to Vernon Davis, as I think Davis is a little better all around TE, but yes Witten is a Great, Great TE and player.

  49. The top 100 list is just another gimmick by the NFL Network to fill up time on their schedule when they’re not running endless reruns of “NFL Total Access”.

    Who cares about who the top 100 players were in any given season? Over the last decade, or all-time? Sure. But for one year? Who cares?

    I’d sure like to see the NFL Network spend more time during the offseason broadcasting historical NFL games. Why not replay playoff games from the 1960-1980s? How many young fans have never heard of or seen footage of Bart Starr, Len Dawson, George Blanda, Jim Brown, Leroy Kelly, Willie Lanier, Alan Page, Roger Staubach, Ken Houston, Franco Harris, etc, etc?

    Just a thought, Mr. Goodell.

  50. Gates hasn’t been able to stay healthy nor produce over the past three seasons. It’s awfully generous to even have him on the list.

  51. You could look at this two ways. Perhaps Gates is the victim of being on a team that always happens to underperform its expectations. Or, perhaps Gates is part of the reason his team underperforms expectations.

  52. Top 5 TE:

    1. Gronk —-the guy has 38 td’s in 43 career games
    2. Graham— Pretty much catches everything thrown his way and can’t be covered 1 on 1. If he was faster he would be similar to Calvin Johnson.
    3. Tony G.—-Best TE of all time and is still getting it done.
    4. Vernon Davis— Similar to Graham except his hands aren’t as good.
    5. I don’t have a true #5 but I would say either Heath Miller, Witten, or Hernandez

    —Gates is good but he is no longer a top 5 TE IMO

    —Watch out for Eifert (sp?) though, that kid might be on this list next year.

  53. tommyribs says:
    May 10, 2013 1:18 PM
    Here is the list the Top 5 TEs in my opinion:
    1. Vernon Davis: Durable, GREAT Blocker, brilliant receiver.
    2. Jason Witten: Durable, Very Good Blocker, brilliant receiver
    3. Gronk: would be #1 as he is a beast blocking, and receiving, but he is not as durable as Davis or Witten.
    4. Jimmy Graham: A cog in the machine, but his athletic talent is reminiscent of Kellen Winslow
    5. Tony Gonzalez: The man still can do it at a high level.

    All of those guys are better than Gates. It is not even arguable.
    =====================
    Not one coach in the NFL would take Jason Witten or Vernon Davis over Jimmy Graham… That is a fact!!!!!!!!!

  54. Gates really shouldn’t get too bent out of shape by taking that poll too seriously. I recently saw a show featuring the “Top Ten Gunslinger Quarterbacks” which didn’t even include John Elway . I almost fell off my chair. NFL Network sometimes does things just so people will mention their name.

  55. @saintsfan26:

    Dude, this isn’t a lifetime achievement list. This is supposed to be the Top 100 players of TWO THOUSAND TWELVE. Jacoby Jones and Percy Harvin both find his ranking a joke.

  56. I think Witten and Vernon Davis are the top 2. Witten is still the safety net despite two very potent wideouts being on the field with him. Vernon reached elite status playin with Alex fricken Smith! Im not bashing Alex but when you look at the top 6-8 TE’s… look at their QB’s. One is not like the others. He was an effective player not a game breaker. Gronk, Hernandez, and Graham while supremely talented all play with a top 3 qb. Witten and Davis are the most complete of them. If Gromk could stay healthy he would prob be #1

  57. I think it’s a joke he is higher then V Davis. Also Hernandez was higher then Davis. Lol. Is this turning into pro bowl selection where they give sympathy votes.

  58. They probably don’t watch football because they are to busy playing football. He should focus on getting back into the top-10 at his position before he starts setting his sights on moving up the top-100 players

  59. I’m not a Charger fan and I’m actually a little pissed at Gates because he was one of my top picks last year for fantasy.. With that being said 73 ranking is a little low for this guy, hes one of the best all time Tight Ends in NFL….

  60. “And he indicated that he doesn’t believe the players who filled out ballots for this year’s Top 100 actually saw him play”……………………………………………………………………………………………….Well considering he’s spent most of the last two years injured….The joke is that he was even on this list at all at this point. If he actually plays a season again, maybe the vote will be different next year.

  61. joetoronto says: May 10, 2013 12:32 PM

    It really is a joke, the man can’t run at all anymore.

    He shouldn’t be ranked at all.

    Choo choo!
    ———————————————————————————————–
    This from someone who can’t even name the TE on his own team? You’ve got more tarps to unpack joe.

  62. this is nothing if 5 years after he retires they vote him into the hall of fame that’s what he should worry about until then just play the players are like many analysts flavor of the day types he has been exceptional but this survey matters very little

  63. Oh how the clueless love to come out and voice opinions….All the Gates haters on this thread would drop pants for an opportunity for Gates to land on their teams roster

  64. Even as a die-hard Chargers fan, I can’t agree with him on this one. He has not been the same since his plantar fasciatis started bothering him. He looked last year like he was going to be back toward where he was, but then tailed off. Hopefully he will use this article as inspiration to work harder and get back to his All Pro ways. If he comes close to what he was, that’ll be good enough for me.

  65. Hernandez had 51 catches in 10 games, Pitta only had 61 and he played a full season. Gonzalez and Witten might be old, but they both had great years as well.

    Pitta is decent, but he doesn’t have a place in a discussion about top 5 tight ends. Give me a break.

    Real Top 5:

    1) Gronk (when healthy)
    2) Graham
    3) Witten
    4) Gonzalez
    5) Hernandez

    You could make arguments for any of the top 3 being #1.

  66. Look at the stats, watch the tape. Fred Davis is a top 3 tight end, PERIOD. Jason Witten is fat and slow and Pitta is the Shonn Greene of tight ends.

    Freddy D in the red zone = easy 7 points.

  67. Apparently they do and when they watch a charger game they see 85 on the sideline with a hang nail, heel bruise and any other injury. Try playing more than a handful of games.

  68. Okay Mr. Logical, let’s look at the stats as you suggested.

    Fred Davis has 5 years in the league. His best season was 796 yards total and he has averaged LESS than 400 yards a season.

    Jason Witten, by comparison, has exceeded Mr. Davis’ best season a total of seven different times. Witten’s average season is about 900 yards a year. He’s 7,000 yards and 32 TDs ahead of Fred Davis. (BTW, if it’s such an easy 7 points, why the TD disparity?)

    Given Fred Davis’ production history, he’ll need to play another 18 years to pass where Jason Witten is right now. The odds of that happening are slim and none. IMHO, the “logical” choice would be to take the “under”.

    Just wondering which “stats” you had in mind?

  69. Antonio your one of my all time favorites and clearly a dominant force in your prime. Which is fading fast in my memory. After last year I honestly thought you might be on the street by now. Sadly you have become a highly paid decoy and when all the D cordinators are sure of this you will use all usefulness. Ive never seen anyones hands get old but last year you dropped passes you never used to drop.

  70. 5) Vernon Davis
    4) Tony Gonzales
    3) Jimmy Graham
    2) Heath Miller
    1) Rob Gronkowski

  71. Guy is a moron. He isn’t even a top 5 tight end now and this is of course a league wide poll. He should find it a joke that he is even ranked that high.

    Having said the above, I do find the top 100 list to be useless since most players are quite simply of low intelligence so it is pointless to ask them to pick players. They will just pick guys based on reputation as seen by Gates being ranked that high.

  72. Worrying about where one ranks on an extremely stupid and subjective list, is one reason one shouldn’t ever wonder why they have never won a championship.

  73. I live in San Diego and watch ALL of the Chargers games. A #73 ranking for 2012/2013 Antonio Gates is way TOO HIGH.

    He can’t block. He has lost a step and can’t create separation. He is getting covered by LB’s now, who are bottling him up. He is done, and only was ranked this high based on reputation alone.

  74. Antonio Gates did not have a single game with 100 yards, 81 yards was his his top game of the season.

    11 Tight Ends had more yards, even Kyle Rudolph had more yards and touchdowns.

    This just shows what a complete joke the list is, shame on NFL network, and I watch every day.

  75. jeesh see a lot of haters listen ppl everyone has an opinion but when you put players who haven’t ben around long and dont look like they will even stay off ir…gronk should not be listed better based on little time in the league come on man pats fans only watch pats play n do yard work and laundry when they aren’t on tv gates is a beast his career has proved it and he isn’t done yet …but I love witten

  76. No offense, but you’re not better than Gronk, Hernandez, Gonzalez, Jimmy Graham, or Jason Witten at this point of your career. Even if you argue versus Witten, how many TEs do you think make the top 50? You’re lucky you made the top 100, dude.

  77. He couldn’t even make the Patriots roster with Hernandez Gronk and Ballard, be greatful people remember you still play in the league.

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