With the loss of Hunter Henry, the Chargers need to add depth at the tight end position. Antonio Gates’ return makes sense, and Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said he already discussed a potential reunion.
Earlier this month, I made the argument for re-signing Antonio Gates.
It’s obvious Gates’ best days are behind him. The soon-to-be 38-year old finished the 2017 season catching 30 passes for 316 receiving yards and three touchdowns, which were the lowest totals since his rookie year (2003).
However, the Chargers need a pass-catching tight end, and Gates, who has spent his entire career with the Bolts, might be the best option out there at this point in time. He’s familiar with the offense and still has unmatched chemistry with veteran quarterback Philip Rivers. It’s worth nothing that the Chargers have a ton of talent and are deep at the wide receiver position, so Gates doesn’t have to be overused like the old days.
And hearing that Tom Telesco and the Chargers reached out to Gates is a good sign. According to Jack Wang of the L.A. Daily News, here’s what Telesco had to say about the situation:
“Obviously, Antonio would be a natural fit. He’s someone that we have talked to. We’ve talked to his representatives. Sometimes, it’s not just as easy as saying, ‘Hey, let’s just bring him back. Let’s go.'”
We already knew Rivers was all for bringing Gates back, so it’s nice to see the upper management contact Gates’ representatives. He should be given a one-year deal and retire after the season. The Bolts have a stacked roster, a Super Bowl-caliber roster in my opinion, and it makes sense for Gates to come along for one last ride.
Telesco also has the option of claiming a tight end off waivers after post-training camp cuts. But that shouldn’t stop the team from re-signing the future Hall of Famer.