Chargers agree to terms with TE Antonio Gates

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) reacts during a game against the Oakland Raiders at StubHub Center on Dec. 31Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers announced they have agreed to terms on a deal with TE Antonio Gates.

Antonio Gates and the Los Angeles Chargers have agreed to terms on a deal that will see the veteran tight end return for a 16th season, the team announced Sunday.

The Chargers did not divulge the terms of the deal, although multiple media outlets reported that it is for one year.

Quarterback Cardale Jones was released in a corresponding move, according to NFL.com. Jones survived the Chargers' initial Saturday cuts, but became a casualty of the numbers game with the signing of Gates.

Gates became a free agent in March, and the Chargers notified his representation that they would not seek to re-sign him.

An eight-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro, Gates had 30 receptions for a career-low 316 yards and three touchdowns in a reduced role in 2017 as the Chargers attempted to transition into a new era with fellow tight end Hunter Henry.

Henry, however, sustained a torn ACL in May. He was placed on the physically unable to perform list -- as opposed to injured reserve -- and will become eligible to return to practice after the sixth week of the season. The Chargers then will have a three-week window to either activate the 23-year-old Henry or shut him down for the remainder of the campaign.

The ACL tear Henry sustained, however, is typically considered a season-ending injury.

The transition from Gates to Henry started in 2016 when the club used a second-round pick on the Arkansas product. Henry recorded 45 receptions for 579 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games in 2017 before a lacerated kidney ended his season.

Gates is the Chargers' all-time leader in receptions (927), receiving yards (11,508) and touchdowns (114), with his touchdown total an NFL record for tight ends.

He has caught 87 touchdown passes from Philip Rivers, the most in league history for a quarterback-tight end tandem.

Gates also has 21 games in his career with more than 100 receiving yards, one of only seven tight ends to achieve that feat.

Tight ends Virgil Green, who was signed to a three-year, $8.6 million deal this offseason, and Sean Culkin are on the roster for the Chargers.

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