Longtime Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has announced that he is retiring from the NFL officially. Here is the statement made by the future Hall of Famer:
After 16 seasons in the NFL, 16 seasons as a Charger, eight Pro Bowl appearances and many records broken, i find it hard to officially put this statement out and retire from the game of football. I never dreamed that I would play this game of football so long or how fortunate I would be to play it with one organization. I want to thank the League for the opportunity to live out a dream and play the game I love. And to the fans in San Diego, Los Angeles, accross the country and around the world, thank you for today I am officially retiring as a Charger, I am grateful that I will still be lending my services to the Chargers organization just now in a completely different capacity through the team's community engagement initiatives and public facing events. Thank you to everyone that helped me create memories that will last a lifetime, both on and off the field. Thank you to my agent Tom Condon, the management team, Denise White and EAG, for helping me navigate this sport over the last 16 years. Thank you to my family for your love and support through the years, and a special thank you to my kids, I am hopeful to have left a legacy you can be proud of, not just as a football player but as a father. I am looking forward to the beginning the next chapter of my career and am grateful for the opportunity to be back around the team and fans. Thank you to everyone who has been part of this remarkable journey with me. I can't wait to see what's next.
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.
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