In a move that many expected (or really, really hoped for), the Los Angeles Chargers have brought Antonio Gates back for another year.
The team seemed to move on from Gates, in the discussion of the greatest tight end in NFL history, this offseason. A season-ending innjury to Hunter Henry changed things.
We've agreed to terms with Antonio Gates. pic.twitter.com/bHTo7Lq4L3
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) September 2, 2018
This agreement was likely made months ago as Gates probably didn’t want to participate in training camp. The team gave tight ends such as Braedon Bowman, Cole Hunt, Ben Johnson and Je’Ron Hamm all summer to show what they could do.
They couldn’t do much.
Virgil Green and Sean Culkin were the only tight ends kept on the roster and neither is a particularly great option in the receiving game. Though he’s 38 years old, Gates has a trust with Philip Rivers and will be used in crucial situations this season.
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Rivers has found Gates for 87 touchdowns. Only Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison, with 112, connected for more scores. Gates is the franchise’s all-time leader in every major receiving category and will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
But before he calls it a career, he wants one more shot at the only thing he’s never won, a Super Bowl. If he and Rivers could get that elusive trophy together this season, you might not be able to write a better script. And Gates knows that this team has the talent to get there.
We’re still waiting on word of a corresponding roster move as the 53-man roster was just released Saturday.
But the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions by a tight end is back to pad that number and help this team reach the promised land. Good things happen to good people, and this is the way it’s supposed to be.