According to Jack Wang of the Los Angeles Daily News, the Chargers have reached out to veteran free agent TE Antonio Gates about re-signing with the team, but it “remains unclear” whether they will sign him.
There has been a lot of traction regarding Gates returning to play for the Chargers since Hunter Henry sustained a torn ACL last month, so it will be interesting to see if the two sides can agree to a contract in the near future.
Back in May, Chargers QB Philip Rivers said he would “be excited” to play with Gates again and is for the team re-signing the veteran.
I’d always be excited if he walked back in the door,” Rivers said, per Wang. “It would get my vote.”
Chargers GM Tom Telesco also didn’t rule out the possibility of bringing Gates back even though he previously announced that they were moving on from him.
“We’ll look at all the options that are out there,” Telesco said when asked about Gates, per Wang.
Telesco added that the loss of Henry is significant.
“I’m not going to minimize it. He’s a Pro Bowl talent with Pro Bowl intangibles,” Telesco said, per Wang. “It’s going to be harder without him, but let me be clear, we’ll adapt and move on.”
Gates, 37, signed on with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent out of Kent State back in 2003 and has spent his entire 15-year NFL career with the team. He finished out the final year of his two-year, $11 million contract that included $6 million guaranteed and a base salary of $4.5 million for the 2017 season.
Gates is testing the open market as an unrestricted free agent.
In 2017 Gates appeared in all 16 games and caught 30 passes for 316 yards receiving and three touchdowns for the Chargers. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 17 tight end out of 71 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Top 50 Available 2018 NFL Free Agents list.