The Los Angeles Chargers have reportedly reached out to Antonio Gates about a possible return, and it’s the right choice.
There are two entities that are undefeated in professional football, the 1972 Dolphins and Father Time. Last season, Antonio Gates had his worst season for the Chargers since his rookie season with 30 catches, 316 yards and three touchdowns.
Even though he will likely end up with a bust in Canton someday, here’s how the exchange probably went.
Antonio: Who’s there?
Father Time: It’s Father Time!
Antonio refuses to let him in, but he busts through the door anyway.
After career lows in yards and touchdowns and the second-lowest totals of receptions and targets of his career, it was obvious Gates was no longer the player of years prior. The Chargers then drafted Hunter Henry in 2016, and it was time for Henry to take the mantle. Then, he tore his ACL, and his season was over.
NFL teams are already entrenched in their offseason programs. So bringing in someone from the outside and having them get acclimated to the L.A. system would take some really quick get up to speed. However, with Gates on the market, it makes sense to at least give him a call.
The Chargers need a pass-catching tight end, and Gates might be their best option at the moment. They have to make the best of a bad situation. Unfortunately for them, the Henry injury will hurt their chances of making a playoff run, even if Gates can turn back the clock a little bit.
They do have time to sign him, because of his knowledge of the system and organization, but it’s probably not enough to savage a good 2018 at the tight end spot.