The LA Chargers are a relatively young team in 2021 with a second-year quarterback and a first-year head coach. Veteran tight end Jared Cook is the oldest player on the 2021 Chargers, checking in at the age of 34.
Cook is not one of the oldest players to ever suit up in the powder blue, though. Before the likes of Tom Brady started to defy NFL age standards, the Bolts had some pretty old players spend time on the team.
Let's dive into the five oldest NFL players to play for the LA Chargers
One thing to note: these players had to have played more than 1-2 games with the Chargers. There are older players who literally played only 1-2 games with the Chargers and did not even start those games. These are players who actually spent substantial time with the team. We are also only looking at post-merger years, so there won't be any AFL players on the list.
5. Antonio Gates, 38 in 2018
Antonio Gates is one of the greatest tight ends of all time and he was a Charger for life. Unlike the likes of Tony Gonzalez and Rob Gronkowski, Gates spent his entire career with one team as the Chargers took a chance on him as an undrafted free agent and he retired as a Charger.
Gates is undoubtedly going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when it is his turn to go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and he goes down as one of the greatest players in Chargers history. Gates has not yet had his number retired by the Bolts but it is only a matter of time. Nobody will wear no. 85 on the Chargers again.
Gates was 38 when the Chargers re-signed him to a one-year contract in 2018. Gates signed the deal right before the season began and did not go through training camp or the preseason with the team. Hunter Henry was meant to take over as the full-time tight end that season but missed the entire season with an injury.
Gates stepped up and recorded 333 yards and two touchdowns while playing in all 16 games.