Antonio Gates Has Heard Tom Brady to Chargers Buzz: 'Would Be a Great Sight'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2020

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady leaves the field after losing to the Tennessee Titans in an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

If Tom Brady departs the New England Patriots as a free agent this offseason, recently retired tight end Antonio Gates is hoping he joins the Los Angeles Chargers.  

"If he comes here, I'm gonna be a big fan," Gates told TMZ Sports. "I heard that he might come out here and bless us with his presence, and if he does that, it would be a great sight to see in L.A."

A marriage between Brady and the Chargers could make sense. For one, Brady is from California. For another, the Los Angeles market wouldn't be bad for his brand. And the Chargers would offer an upgrade at wide receiver, with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams on the roster.

The downside, of course, would be leaving a perennial powerhouse in New England led by a successful owner in Robert Kraft and arguably the greatest head coach in NFL history in Bill Belichick to join a franchise that has won fewer playoff games (five) since 2000 than Brady has won Super Bowl titles (six) in that time.

There's also the matter of moving from the packed house at Gillette Stadium to an organization that has seen its own fans outnumbered by the visiting team's supporters since making the move to Los Angeles. The Chargers, in essence, have played 16 away games since making the transition. 

And while Brady would be getting an upgrade at wide receiver, he'd be getting a major downgrade at most other positions, losing one of the NFL's elite defenses in the process. It would also be downright bizarre seeing the career Patriot slide on a new uniform, and if his ultimate goal is to win another title, trading New England for Los Angeles wouldn't be the logical choice.

Regardless, don't expect Brady to retire. He'll almost assuredly be back in 2020, even if it isn't with the Pats.

"I'll explore those opportunities whenever they are. If it's the Patriots, great. If that doesn't work, I don't know," he told Pro Football Talk's Peter King after the 20-13 Wild Card loss to the Tennessee Titans. "I just don't know. I love playing football. I still want to play football. I think I still can play at a championship level. I've just got to go do it. I'm motivated to get back to work and training."