Antonio Gates' agent, Tom Condon, told Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio he's maintaining hope he can work out a deal for his client to return to the Los Angeles Chargers. Condon also said he's negotiating with the team's executive vice president of football administration and player finance, Ed McGuire.
Gates, 38, has spent his 15-year career with the Chargers.
On Monday, ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported, "One team source told me it would really be their preference for unsigned veteran tight end Gates to rejoin the Chargers and for both sides to 'get it done before camp' starts."
Gates has put together a Hall of Fame-worthy career. The eight-time Pro Bowler is third in NFL history among tight ends with 927 receptions and 11,508 receiving yards and first at the position with 114 touchdowns.
While Gates is no longer as productive as he was during his prime, when he was one of the most dynamic playmakers in football, he was still solid for the Chargers last season, registering 30 receptions for 316 yards and three touchdowns.
Hunter Henry was expected to be the team’s top option at the position once again this season, but a torn ACL in May ended his 2018 campaign. The Chargers also have Virgil Green—though he was brought aboard as a blocking tight end—along with Cole Hunt and Sean Culkin.
In other words, Gates will play a major role if he decides to return to the team.