Antonio Gates Announces Retirement After 16 Years of Career


"I find it hard to officially put this statement out and retire from the game of football", Gates wrote on social media.

Gates racked up 955 receptions for almost 12,000 yards and 116 touchdowns.

Initially a star basketball player at Kent State, Gates remarks that he's surprised to have lasted this long in the National Football League and with one team his entire career.

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, an eight-time Pro Bowler who last played in 2018, made his retirement official on Tuesday.

"I never dreamed that I would play this game of football so long or how fortunate I would be to play it with just one organization", he said in a statement.

Gates spent his entire career with the Bolts, amassing 11,841 receiving yards and 116 touchdown catches.

He ended up playing in 15 games during his rookie campaign and was impressive, logging 24 catches for 389 yards and a couple of touchdowns.

After not competing during the 2019 season, most figured former Los Angeles Chargers star Antonio Gates was on his way out of the league. Many held out hope that the Chargers may bring him in early on this past season to help battle through injuries at the tight end spot. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this remarkable journey with me.

Gates added in his announcement that he would remain with the Chargers in a community relations role.

Gates steps away from the game as one of the best to ever step on the field at his position. I can't wait to see what's next. He hauled in a seven-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Philip Rivers against the Miami Dolphins on September 17, 2017 - his 112th career touchdown reception - passing Tony Gonzalez in all-time touchdowns among tight ends.

Gates should without a doubt be a first-ballot Hall of Fame player, and football fans everywhere should look forward to seeing him in Canton someday.

The following year, Gates broke out, hauling in 81 receptions for 964 yards and 13 scores en route to a Pro Bowl appearance and a First-Team All-Pro selection. He's also ranked second among all Bolts in career regular-season games played. During his career, he was selected to eight straight Pro Bowls (2004-2011) and was named an All-Pro five times in his career (2004-2006, '09-10).



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