For the first time since the 2002 season, the Chargers are going to be without future hall of fame TE, Antonio Gates. Gates is one of the best tight ends to ever play. Together, he and Rivers have done some amazing things and Chargers fans everywhere want to say, thank you! The former Kent State basketball star turned perennial pro-bowler, has always been a true professional carrying himself with class. Gates was the second basketball player turned football to succeed as a tight end, the other obviously being Tony Gonzalez. There is nobody that has appreciated Gates more than Philip Rivers. For the first time in Rivers career, he won’t have Gates in the huddle with him.
Speaking from a selfish standpoint, I don’t know where I’d be without him. If he hadn’t been here for 14 years, I don’t know what my career is like. You’re talking about a pretty unique opportunity to be paired with the best tight end who has more touchdowns than anybody. And then I’m able to share in many of them. It’s awesome, and that part is important. It’s great to have something we can share together. That part is cool and special to both of us. When you see the names like Young and Rice, Peyton and Marvin, and you see Rivers and Gates; that is special.- Philip Rivers
Gates has been one of the most successful undrafted free agents of all-time. Here are some of his accolades as a member of the Chargers, primarily in San Diego.
- 6th all-time in TD catches 114
- 1 All-Time in TD’s by a Tight End
- 2nd team All-Decade team for the 00’s
- 8 Pro-Bowls
- Rivers and Gates combined for 87 TD’s together, most all-time
Not quite the storybook ending us Chargers fans and Gates would want in Southern California. Although Gates hasn’t said he is retiring just yet, he did mention if the right situation came he would consider it. That would be a tough pill to swallow for a Chargers fan to watch Gates in another uniform. It would be like watching LT in a Jets uniform all over again. Gates wanted nothing more than to win a championship for Chargers fans, unfortunately we missed a few golden opportunities during his prime. Even though he has come up short up to this point in his career on winning a Super Bowl, there is no denying Gates is one of the all-time greats we’ve seen.