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#1 Posted : 17 August 2018 04:25:05(UTC)
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Tight end Antonio Gates will not return to the Los Angeles Chargers Browns Cheap Jerseys , ending the 15-year tenure of the most prolific pass-catcher in franchise history.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco confirmed the team's decision Friday night after the second day of the NFL draft.

The Chargers had waited to make any announcement on Gates' future because they weren't sure whether he intended to attempt to join another team for a 16th NFL season this fall. Gates has spent his entire career with the Chargers, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2003.

"Antonio is not only one of the best Chargers of all time, he's one of the best football players in the history of our game," an emotional Telesco said. "These decisions are really, really difficult."

Gates has caught 927 passes for 11,508 yards and 114 touchdowns 鈥?all Chargers records. He set the NFL record for TD catches by a tight end early last season.

Gates also ranks third in career receptions by a tight end behind Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten.

But Gates will turn 38 years old in June, and his role in the Chargers' offense diminished steadily over the past three seasons. He caught just 30 passes for 316 yards and was targeted only 52 times last year, his lowest totals since his rookie season.

After the season ended with the Chargers barely missing the playoffs at 9-7, Gates expressed interest in playing again this year. He appeared to waver in that decision in recent weeks, but the Chargers recently let him know they were moving forward without him because Gates' role would have been reduced even more in the upcoming season.

Gates' resolve to play on is apparently renewed, but it won't be with the Chargers and Philip Rivers, his quarterback for the past 12 seasons. Gates and Rivers have combined for 87 touchdown passes David Ortiz Jersey , another NFL record between a quarterback and a tight end.

Rivers addressed Gates' tenuous future earlier this month after an offseason workout.

"You'd love for him to get one more shot to be with us and go make a run at it," Rivers said. "If it were not to work out, and if he were to decide to hang it up, who knows? He's had a heck of a run. He has nothing left to prove, that's for sure."

Los Angeles is loaded with pass-catching talent, including Pro Bowl receiver Keenan Allen and a full complement of wideouts. More importantly, tight end Hunter Henry has emerged as a top target for Rivers over his first two seasons, catching 81 passes for 1,057 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The Chargers also signed tight end Virgil Green as a free agent from Denver last month.

"As we were looking at it, we really felt like this is Hunter Henry's time," Telesco said. "We need to get him even more involved than we did in the past. We've got four receivers that we think are really talented that we need to get the football, and we've got two running backs."

Gates is a beloved figure in the history of the franchise that relocated to the Los Angeles area last season after 55 seasons in San Diego. He teamed with Rivers and LaDainian Tomlinson as the heart of a team that won four consecutive AFC West titles from 2006-09 and advanced to one conference championship game.

Gates' entire NFL career has been a stunning success against the odds. After playing basketball at Kent State Youth Buffalo Bills Jerseys , Gates fashioned one of the most impressive careers by an undrafted athlete in U.S. sports history after he landed in San Diego and played his way into a vital role under coach Marty Schottenheimer.

Gates was particularly prolific in 2005, when he caught a career-best 89 passes for 1,101 yards and 10 touchdowns in Drew Brees' final season as the Chargers' quarterback. Gates was incredible again in 2009, catching 79 passes for a career-high 1,157 yards and eight scores. Injuries contributed to the slowdown in his production in recent seasons.

He has been selected for eight Pro Bowls.

Gates willingly made the move last year from San Diego to Los Angeles, where he already lived during the offseason. He then set the NFL record for touchdown catches by a tight end during a game against Miami at StubHub Center, surpassing Gonzalez.

Gates spent most of the season as a backup for Henry before playing extensively in the final two games after Henry was injured, still showing sure hands and the ability to get open.

"We put a lot of thought into where this roster needs to go, fully knowing that Antonio stepped in last year when we really needed him and played really well," Telesco said. "That's why these decisions are tough. But as we're looking at how our roster needs to be constructed, it's just the way it had to go."

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay expects Andrew Luck to be his old self next season.

If trading the third overall pick or adding two of the best offensive linemen in this year's NFL draft wasn't enough to convince doubters, perhaps the acknowledgment that the Colts turned down trade inquiries for Luck will.

At an impromptu news conference during Saturday's draft Jaire Alexander Packers Jersey , Irsay acknowledged the Colts had been contacted by other teams interested in Luck and the Colts had no interest in dealing ther face of the franchise. General manager Chris Ballard later clarified those initial contacts were made during the 2017 season.

"Look, we had some calls last year at the trade deadline and I said, 'We're not taking those seriously,'" Ballard said. "I said, 'I'm not putting that on my resume.'"

Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in 2012, missed all of last season after having surgery for a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.

He's been on the field for Indy's offseason workouts, but still isn't throwing a regulation-sized football.

Earlier this week, Ballard acknowledged the Colts wouldn't have made the March deal with the New York Jets to move back three spots if they didn't believe Luck was healthy.

Irsay went even further Saturday, less than 48 hours after the Colts selected guard Quenton Nelson, the highest-rated offensive lineman in the draft, at sixth overall. On Friday Cheap Luke Falk Jersey , they drafted another guard, Braden Smith, at No. 37.

"Trust me, there are people who would have given an unprecedented amount of draft picks for him, all with a No. 1 behind them and we wouldn't even consider it," Irsay said. "He (Luck) is our guy and we're confident about that. Let's just say, I think the rest of the league is anticipating him to return and play great."

They need him.

Without Luck, the Colts endured their first losing season since 2011 and missed the playoffs for the third straight year.

But if Luck is healthy, Irsay believes the complexion of the Colts could change.

"Only Andrew can decide how far we are away because he's a magic man and there are only a few magic men and you know who they are," Irsay said. "But if he's healthy and he's back, he makes up for a lot of deficiencies. Can he take you all the way? We'll have to see how good Chris is at plugging the holes on defense and things like that."

#2 Posted : 01 May 2020 17:59:57(UTC)
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#3 Posted : 06 August 2020 03:33:01(UTC)
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