Will 2014 Be The Last For Antonio Gates in A Chargers Uniform?

By Ernie Padaon

Dec 22, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) is defended by Oakland Raiders linebacker

Nick Roach

(53) during the first half at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Gates has had a Hall of Fame type of career for the San Diego Chargers. He has helped mold the way the tight end position is used in the game today and is one of the best pass catching tight ends ever to play the game. At some point, we have to wonder how much longer he will be able to produce.

Gates is 33 years old now and has a couple of years left on his contract. His contract is one of the highest on the Chargers roster and his production is on a downward trend. If the team were to released him after the 2014 season, the Chargers would save over $5 million in cap space. It is very possible that 2014 will be the last season for Antonio Gates in a Chargers uniform.

The Chargers already have the future grooming behind Gates on the roster. Ladarius Green is just waiting for his opportunity to produce. In 2014, Green will likely find himself more involved on offense and he will get his opportunity to take the starting job. The passing of the torch is already in progress.

Enjoy watching Antonio Gates in 2014, it could be his last one with the Chargers.

If he were released, would Antonio Gates retire or would he join another team?