Report: Chargers won’t bring back Antonio Gates

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Antonio Gates #85 of the Los Angeles Chargers is seen running onto the field prior to the game against the Oakland Raiders at StubHub Center on December 31, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES — If Antonio Gates wants to play football for a 16th season, he’ll have to do it in a new uniform for the first time in his career, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Facing an further reduction in his role, Hunter Henry’s emergence and the free-agent signing of tight end Virgil Green, the Chargers communicated to Gates that if he were to keep playing, it would be elsewhere.

In his career, Gates has caught 927 passes for 11,508 yards — both Chargers records. His 114 touchdowns are the most for a tight end in NFL history.

Gates joined the Chargers in 2003 as an undrafted free agent, famously converting from basketball where he helped lead Kent State to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

With the Chargers, Gates quickly established himself as one of the top players at his position, catching 81 passes and 13 touchdowns in his second year, beginning a streak of eight straight Pro Bowl selections.

Read the full story on the San Diego Union-Tribune website.

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