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Antonio Gates announces his retirement

NBC Sports logo NBC Sports 6 days ago Josh Alper

Former Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates watches during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Detroit Pistons and the Minnesota Timberwolves, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) © ASSOCIATED PRESS Former Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates watches during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Detroit Pistons and the Minnesota Timberwolves, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Antonio Gates didn’t play football in 2019, but he never formally announced his retirement.

That changed on Tuesday. In a post to social media, Gates made the end of his playing days official.

“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. I want to thank the Chargers organization, the National Football League, Dean Spanos and the Spanos family for the opportunity to live out a dream and play the game I love.”

Gates spent 16 years with the Chargers and walks away with 955 catches, 11,841 yards and 72 touchdowns. He ranks third all-time among tight ends in catches and yards and is second behind Tony Gonzalez in touchdowns, which isn’t bad for someone who spent his time at Kent State playing basketball.

Gates was a three-time first-team All-Pro selection after switching to football and it seems a good bet that he’ll be getting a gold jacket at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the not too distant future.

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