Saturday, October 31, 2020

Chargers legend Antonio Gates Retires

After 16-years in the NFL, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has decided to hang up his cleats.

Antonio Gates announced his retirement via twitter yesterday bringing to a close one of the greatest careers by a tight end.

Gates holds the record for touchdowns by a tight end (116) after surpassing former Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons legend Tony Gonzalez during the 2017 season against the Miami Dolphins.

During an illustrious career, the 39-year-old reeled in 955 targets (17th all-time) for 11,841 yards (29th all-time), resulting in eight trips to the Pro Bowl and three first-team All-Pro selections.

Antonio Gates’ Journey

Gates’s route to the NFL is unique as the former basketball star never played football at the collegiate level. Nick Saban, the then Michigan State coach.. wanted Gates to focus solely on football a notion Gates wasn’t comfortable with – Inevitably Gates decided to transfer.

A further two transfers and Gates found himself at Kent State University. During his two years at Kent State, Gates excelled as a power forward for the Golden Flashes – During which the Flashes won back-to-back Mid-American Conference Championships, the first in school history.

Despite the achievements, scouts weren’t sold on Gates as an NBA prospect. Back to the drawing board Gates went, resulting in arranged workouts for numerous NFL teams.

Antonio Gates was a beast
Antonio Gates was a beast

First up, the then-San Diego Chargers. Clearly smitten with Gates’ physical attributes and overall potential the two sides agreed to terms back in 2003.

Gates spent the first three years of his career reeling in passes from Drew Brees. During his rookie season, Gates reeled in 24 passes for 389 yards and two touchdowns, whilst averaging 16.2 yards per reception, which remained his career-best.

A breakout campaign in 2004 (934 yards, 13 touchdowns) during which the tight end broke the single-season record for touchdowns by a tight end (12), resulted in a contract holdout prior to the 2005 season (signed a six-year $24m deal).

From 2004-2011 Gates was named to eight consecutive Pro Bowls. During that span the future Hall-of-Famer reeled in 569 passes for 7394 yards, scoring 74 touchdowns in the process.

Injuries came went as did numerous records during the latter part of an outstanding career, which surely results in a first-ballot Hall-of-Fame selection in five years’ time.

Enjoy retirement.

For more like this, you can visit our NFL category here. Also, follow us on Facebook for coverage of the NFL and much more.

Similar Articles



NFL: 3 Week 8 Matchups to watch out for

We're nearing the half-way point of the 2020 NFL Season which seems ridiculous bearing in mind we...

Why The NFC West Is The Best Division In The NFL

The NFC West has seen the last two representatives in the Super Bowl. The Los Angeles Rams...

Are Tottenham Hotspur Title Contenders?

Tottenham Hotspur won 1-0 away to Burnley on Monday night. They are just two points off the...

NFL: Review Of Week 7

The NFL has chalked off another week in the 2020 season. Each game week seems to go...

Premier League vote to extend PPV

As the Premier League vote to extend PPV games it shows just how far top division football...

World Record Holder Jacob Barnor Reveals All

Last week I had the opportunity to interview Guinness World Record holder Jacob Barnor.

Why A ‘European Premier League’ Is A Bad Idea

It has been announced that Liverpool and Manchester United are planning talks to join a ‘European Premier...

Reviewing Week 6 Of The NFL

Week 6 is now complete in the NFL. In a week that saw no Thursday Night Football...

A Review Of Week 5 In The NFL

We have seen five weeks fly by in the NFL. We are over a quarter of the...

British Ice Hockey, what could be done better?

People will say the British ice hockey league is just a stepping stone for import players to...