Antonio Gates “leaning toward” playing in 2017

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If Chargers tight end Antonio Gates catches two touchdowns in Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, he will move past Tony Gonzalez into first place for most touchdown catches by a tight end.

If not, it sounds like he’ll give himself plenty of other chances to do it during the 2017 season. Gates said on Wednesday that he feels like he wants to come back for a 15th NFL season rather than retire.

“This is not the way I expected to be done. I’m definitely leaning toward coming back,” Gates said, via Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Gates said something very similar at the end of last season as well, although he didn’t have a contract for 2016 at that time.

Gates is now signed through next season with a base salary of $4.5 million in 2017. There would be some dead money left on the cap if the Chargers opted to part ways with him, but that seems unlikely. Gates remained productive with 48 catches for 493 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games this year and rookie Hunter Henry has shown enough promise that they won’t have to rely too heavily on a player who will turn 37 before the start of next season.

12 responses to “Antonio Gates “leaning toward” playing in 2017

  1. If he comes back, it needs to be as the #2 TE and red zone threat. Hunter Henry needs to be the #1 starting next year. It feels like Henry’s rookie season has been hindered because McCoy couldn’t decide who his #1 TE should be (big surprise there, cause McCoy sucks).

  2. I’m a HUGE Gates fan and really hope that he gets 2 TDs on Sunday. But, he can barely run routes any longer, and drops alot of passes. 2016 = he is great. 2017 = just taking up a much needed roster spot. Retire.

  3. Gates should do Chargers fans a favor and say he will continue to play if McCoy is fired.

    Gates, Rivers, and a number of players deserver better.

    ~a Chargers fan

  4. I loved me some Antonio Gates but to be honest the guy is done. He has definitely lost a step and the only thing he has going is his timing of routes with Rivers. Hunter Henry is the future and it’s time for Gates to hang them up.

  5. Dude is 13th in receiving yards for tight ends this year and he missed 3 games. Hardly retirement numbers. The Chargers are a better team with him and Henry on the team, regardless of who is the #1 TE.
    2 TE sets are stronger.

  6. joeyteetoronto says:
    Dec 28, 2016 3:42 PM
    Come back as a Raider son! Be a winner!
    for the FIRST time in 13 years, yes they can finally say they are winners again – at least this year.
    that said, Gates would never join that clan.

  7. Greatest TE of all-time. Gronk is washed-up. Tony Gonzalez is an awesome guy and was an extremely intelligent and productive and capable player, but Gates is the GOAT.

    I know the presence of L.T. for much of Gates’ career was a net gain for Gates’ overall success, but if Gates hadn’t been competing for TD’s with one of the greatest running backs of all time, Gates might have already surpassed Tony’s numbers.

  8. Tomorrow is the Chargers last game in San Diego. Next year they will be in STL, San Antonio, or Los Angeles. Hopefully the crowd gives them an ovation tomorrow.

    This could have been avoided with the passing of measure C. But the liberal voters of San Diego said no. Losing an NFL team and Comic Con is not what I call progress.

    San Diego Chargers (1961-2016)

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