FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Do not shut the ebook on Antonio Gates’ NFL profession simply but.
The 38-year-old tight finish, who performed this season on a one-year contract, mentioned he desires to return for a 17th season with the Los Angeles Chargers.
“I simply do not see myself strolling away with this style,” Gates mentioned after his staff’s 41-28 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday. “And plus this staff. I feel if you add Hunter [Henry] again, and hopefully we get Jason Verrett again — shoot, the sky is the restrict. And I need to be part of it.
It was an early exit for the 12-Four Chargers of their first postseason look since 2013, however this staff must be again.
“However that has to be a collective determination. I am unable to simply need to come again. So we’ll see the way it goes.”
This season was little bittersweet for Gates after the Chargers did not make him really feel needed over the last offseason.
The Chargers’ brass relayed to Gates’ illustration that his providers would not be wanted for the 2018 season, opening up extra alternatives for rising tight finish Henry.
Then Henry suffered an ACL knee harm in Could, and abruptly the veteran’s providers had been wanted — once more. Gates believes the Chargers did not have to give him an ultimatum throughout free company in February.
“Perhaps they felt I used to be on the point of whether or not or not I need to be right here or not, they usually had to make decisions early on,” Gates mentioned. “I need to make certain to remind them that I need to come again. I need to be a part of one thing particular, and I feel now we have that right here. However that is out of my management within the sense the place I can solely do what I can do. And we’ll see out it goes.”
Gates completed the common season with 28 receptions for 333 yards and two touchdowns. Towards New England, Gates totaled 5 catches for 41 yards, together with an Eight-yard reception for a rating — maybe a pleasant method to finish what seems to be a Corridor of Fame profession for the previous school basketball standout at Kent State.
Gates is the Chargers’ all-time chief in receptions (960), receiving yards (11,882) and landing catches (117). Gates’ and Philip Rivers’ 90 touchdowns is probably the most in NFL historical past by a decent end-quarterback tandem.
“In fact I feel I can nonetheless play. Do they assume I can nonetheless play? That is simply one thing — I do know [the Patriots] assume I can nonetheless play as a result of they maintain doubling me,” Gates mentioned with amusing. “A number of groups assume I can nonetheless play as a result of they discover a method to nonetheless double me on third down. That simply stays to be seen.
“I am going to have to sit down with the top coach and the people who make these choices and specific how motivated I’m to come again even higher, as a participant and as a teammate, and hopefully they create me again.”