After a summer full of rumors, the Chargers have finally chosen 15-year veteran tight end Antonio Gates to replace Hunter Henry.
After losing tight end Hunter Henry to a torn ACL back in May, the Los Angeles Chargers have been in search of a worthy replacement. Los Angeles has finally come to the conclusion that a familiar face was its best option. Fifteen-year veteran Antonio Gates will return to the Chargers after agreeing to a new deal with the team, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Gates has sat idly by all summer waiting for a deal to come his way, and it took until the end of the preseason for that to happen. But now that the deal is done, Gates will be put to work right away — with just a week in between his signing and opening day against the Chiefs.
Los Angeles has been starting tight end Virgil Green during the preseason and he will likely still see the field plenty. Green is a good blocker but not much of a receiving option. Gates may receive a lot of opportunity in the red zone.
Fantasy players may want to scoop up Gates, because Phillip Rivers may look his way quite a bit.
Over the past 3 years, Rivers ranks when targeting the TE: 4th in yards, 3rd in completions, 2nd in att, 2nd in TDs. The role is his. I just ranked him 12th, behind Kittle and ahead of Eifert/Njoku. He’ll be a “poor man’s” Jimmy Graham from last year (TE6): TD heavy, low yds
— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) September 2, 2018
Gates is entering his 16th season, all with the Chargers. He sits atop the franchise leaderboard in catches, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.
With weapons at every skill position and an improved line, Los Angeles’s offense has the potential to do some big things. Even at 38 years old, Gates will have the opportunity to play a big part in that.