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Chargers TE Antonio Gates Announces His Retirement

From the hardwood courts of playing basketball at Kent State, to the gridiron on Sunday, not many did it better than Chargers tight end Antonio Gates.

The legendary player called it a career on Tuesday, announcing his retirement from the game.

Gates never played a down of collegiate football, but that did not stop him from redefining the TE position and breaking NFL records is one of the great stories in Chargers and NFL history.

“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,” said Gates, the NFL record holder for career receiving touchdowns by a tight end.

“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, Dean Spanos and the Spanos family, and the National Football League for the opportunity to live out a dream and play the game I love. And to the fans in San Diego, Los Angeles, across the country and around the world, thank you for your unwavering support all these years. There would be no NFL without you.

“While 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, and 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 that you can be proud of, not just as a football player but also as a father.

“I’m looking forward to beginning the next chapter of my career and am grateful for the opportunity to be back around the team and our fans.

“Thank you to everyone who has been part of this remarkable journey with me. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

It’s a career that not many will soon forget, and should at some point land him on the steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

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