According to McIntyre, $3 million of Gates's $5 million base salary for 2014 has been converted to a signing bonus, which frees $1.5 million in salary cap space for the Chargers.
St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long also recently restructured his deal to give St. Louis more cap space.
Gates, 34, has two seasons remaining on the six-year, $39.8 million contract he signed with San Diego in 2010.
The eight-time Pro Bowler has 719 receptions for 872 yards in his career and led the team with 77 receptions in 2013.
The Chargers open the season Monday night against the Arizona Cardinals. Gates is questionable to play due to a hamstring injury.
- Ben Estes