Gates will return for his 16th season with the Chargers after missing all of the preseason.
The Chargers and tight end Antonio Gates have reached a deal to bring the long-tenured veteran back ahead of the start of the regular season, Los Angeles announced Sunday. It will be a one-year deal, per NFL.com.
Gates, 38, is entering his 16th season in the NFL. He's spent the entirety of his career with the Chargers. In April, it was originally reported that Los Angeles did not intend on re-signing him.
Last season, Gates appeared in all 16 games, but started four, posting career-lows in receptions (30) and receiving yards (316). Entering the season, Virgil Green, who signed with Los Angeles this offseason, topped the depth chart after projected starter Hunter Henry was placed on the physically unable to perform list following an ACL tear Henry suffered in May. Henry's placement on the PUP list leaves the possibility for him to return later in the season, but in the meantime, the addition of Gates will provide needed depth for the Chargers at tight end.
Through 15 seasons, Gates has been named a first-team All-Pro player three times and has earned eight Pro Bowls appearances. He enters the season 20th all-time in career receptions (927), sixth in career receiving touchdowns (114) and 30th in career receiving yards (11,508). Gates is also the Chargers' franchise leader in receptions, yards and receiving touchdowns.