Antonio Gates on retirement: I don’t want to go out this kind of way

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The 2015 season has not been the best of times for Chargers tight end Antonio Gates.

He started the year serving a four-game suspension for a PED violation, has had to deal with a knee injury since returning to action and the Chargers have a 3-10 record after a miserable season on the field. On Sunday, Gates, who turns 36 in June, said he hasn’t made any final decisions about whether he’ll return for a 14th season but sounded like he was leaning in that direction.

“I don’t want to go out this kind of way,” Gates said, via U-T San Diego. “I don’t want to go out as a loser. Winning is the way, ideally, you want to go out. … I want to make one more run at it, and then if it doesn’t work, be like, ‘OK.’ That’s just my feeling right now.”

Gates has remained productive with 45 catches for 497 yards and four touchdowns in eight games this season, but doesn’t have a contract for next year and there figure to be some changes with the Chargers after the way this year unfolded. He said spending his entire career with one team is a factor he’ll consider along with reaching his goal of catching the most touchdowns of any tight end in history. He’s nine shy of Tony Gonzalez right now and it sounds like he’ll pick up wherever he left off come next September.

18 responses to “Antonio Gates on retirement: I don’t want to go out this kind of way

  1. I love watching this guy play and would love to see him come back next year and get a ring and who knows it could be with a new team id like to see gates go to Arizona maybe

  2. If he doesn’t want to go out this kind of way, he better look for a trade to a contender. I don’t see things changing for the Chargers anytime soon.

  3. I guess the Chargers move to Los Angeles is fait accompli.

    This Sunday instead of showing the Broncos at the Steelers, CBS had decided that the good people of Los Angeles would rather watch the 5-7 Dolphins at the 3-10 Chargers.

  4. Great player. Hall of Famer for sure. His body is letting him down now. Not nearly the player he was but still productive. I guess the PED’s were actually working for him. I see him playing until he gets that TD record. But likely not in a Charger uniform.

  5. Go out what kind of way, Antonio? A loser? You’re on the roster of the team that is synonymous with losing. What has your pack of castoffs ever won? How many rings do you have? How many division titles have you managed to secure during your career? And now you’re worried about going out a loser? You should have thought of that a long time ago. Loser.

  6. I think he’d be a great fit for the Green Bay Packers. They’ve lacked a downfield threat at TE since Finley left, and Gates might be able to provide some of that. I’m sure Rodgers would love a target like that to throw too, and if Gates wants to win Green Bay would be a good place to go.

  7. No player wants to retire “this kind of way”. The reality is, the majority of them do just that. As the old saying goes for management moving on from old players, it holds for retiring as well… better to leave a year early than a year late.

    Michael Cuddyer of the Mets just retired, saying his body was done. He still had one more year on his contract worth $12.5M, and baseball money is fully guaranteed, so all he had to do was ride the pine all year and collect that check. He opted to do the honorable thing and retire now. Yes, he’ll likely get a buyout amount, but it will be far less than 12.5-large.

    In football, a player like Gates has to think about whether another year just to prove something to himself is worth a potential serious injury that damages his future quality of life. A concussion could make him the next Junior Seau… serious knee/hip injury could put him on a cane the rest of his life. If he’s already got the money for life, he needs to talk to his family if the risk is worth it.

  8. Sign with Arizona. They’re elite. Don’t sign with Seattle. They clearly don’t know how to use tight ends.

  9. Is he a free agent this year? If so, I hope he goes to a team that will win. Chargers aren’t winning anytime soon. That team is downright awful and would be 0-15 with none of the games being close without Rivers.

  10. The guy can’t run anymore without PED’s and he’s always been a loser.

    He just wants another payday.

  11. If he is a FA he needs to come to Arizona. Perfect weather for the old time vets. Its hot, but its a dry heat, helps big time with the arthritis. This team has shown old vets can make a big impact still.

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