Antonio Gates didn’t play football in 2019, but he never formally announced his retirement.
That changed on Tuesday. In a post to social media, Gates made the end of his playing days official.
“I never dreamed that I would play this game of football so long or how fortunate I would be to play it with just one organization. I want to thank the Chargers organization, the National Football League, Dean Spanos and the Spanos family for the opportunity to live out a dream and play the game I love.”
Gates spent 16 years with the Chargers and walks away with 955 catches, 11,841 yards and 116 touchdowns. He ranks third all-time among tight ends in catches and yards and is first all-time in touchdowns, which isn’t bad for someone who spent his time at Kent State playing basketball.
Gates was a three-time first-team All-Pro selection after switching to football and it seems a good bet that he’ll be getting a gold jacket at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the not too distant future.