Lotta action with all time great tight ends today. First, Jason Witten the master of the 7 yard stop route, like a RKO out of nowhere, announces that he’s retiring without giving any inclining that he was doing that something I’m sure must of rattled the cage of Jerry Jones just a bit. Now Antonio Gates has been informed that the Chargers of Los Angeles will not be bringing him back. It’s being reported from “sources” that Gates still wants to play and finish his career somewhere else. I’m sure he’ll play one more year get a few TDs but be mostly an afterthought that doesn’t get on the field to often. Gates is 37 and has been playing since 2003. His longevity in the league is to be admired.
Makes me real sad to see Gates not finishing his career with the Chargers. I’ve been a big Gates man my entire life. I remember back in 2003 entering my first real deal fantasy football league and I drafted him as my #1 TE and no one had any idea who this guy from Kent State was. Gates ended up being one of the guys who brought me my first title along with the deadly bang bang combination of Jeff Garcia and TO. Back then no one knew Gates played basketball in college nor did anyone care. Then Gates took over the league and was one of the pillars of revolutionizing the position along with Tony Gonzalez and others. After Gates, every team was looking for any scrub that could dunk and convinced themselves that they could turn any guy who averaged 2 rebounds a game into the next Gates. Often imitated, never duplicated seems like a good line to add here. His impact from playing other sports then football is still felt today. Without Gates, nobody would be asking other people if they knew that Chris Hogan played lacrosse. That’s the kind of impact gates has had on the game.
Maybe this is just me lashing out about getting older or something deep like that. Not sure, to tough to call. It just sucks to see great players that you watched for a decade plus just not have much left and have to move on from the game. I know it’s all part of the game but this one hurts for some particular reason. Maybe because Gates would kill the Dolphins every time he played them, I really don’t know. Gates will easily be a first ballot Hall of Famer but maybe just maybe he’s got just a little more tred on the tires.