Thanks to his personal accomplishments, Gates will certainly be a Hall of Fame candidate although it remains to be seen whether or not his efforts will not just be recognized but rewarded as well.
Antonio Gates Retirement " After 16 seasons in the NFL, 16 seasons as a Charger, eight Pro Bowl appearances and many records broken, I find it hard to officially put this statement out and retire from the game of football. "I never thought I would play this soccer game for so long or how happy I would be to play it with just one organization".
Gates spent his entire 16-year career with the San Diego and Los Angeles Chargers.
Gates said that he will remain with the Chargers just in a different capacity. "His contributions to our organization over the course of an unprecedented 16-year career, both on the field and in the community, can not be overstated".
The 39-year-old announced that he is retiring from the National Football League after posting one of the most polished resumes by anyone that has played the position. The two connected for 89 touchdowns, the most ever for a quarterback-tight end duo.
Antonio Gates did not play at all in 2019. "It pretty much meant, if he is one-on-one, throw it there".
After the playoff loss to the Patriots, Gates stood in the visiting locker room at Gillette Stadium and discussed his desire to continue playing. Among all players, he ranks seventh all-time in touchdown receptions, 17th all-time in receptions (955), and 29th all-time in receiving yards (11,841). His TD in last year's defeat against New England made him the oldest narrow end in the history of the league at 38 years and 209 days.
On their official twitter account, the Chargers pay tribute to one of their best players ever. And that makes it the first choice in the Hall of Famer in my book. He not only did one thing well, he did everything well.
Gates signed with the Chargers as an undrafted rookie in 2003, after having not played football since his senior year of high school. While it may have been for the best, there were dreams of getting to watch Gates hoist the Lombardi trophy with Philip Rivers and ride off into the sunset, getting the piece of hardware that many so desperately desire.
A decade and a half later, Gates concluded his career with a postseason touchdown on his final reception.