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  • Chargers Gates agrees to 5-year extension

    Gates agrees to 5-year extension

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5418271

    Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates has agreed to a $36.175 million, five-year contract extension with the San Diego Chargers, making him the NFL's highest-paid tight end.

    The deal, which runs through the 2015 season, is worth $7.235 million per season, with $20.4 million in guarantees, a source told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.

    "Antonio is a special player and person. He is everything we are looking for in a Chargers player," general Manager A.J. Smith said in a statement released by the team. "His talent and contributions to our team speak for themselves. His work ethic and desire to be the best are unmatched. He has been a major part of the success we have had over the past several years, and we are thrilled he will continue to be with us for years to come."

    With three other star players unhappy about their contracts, talks with Gates apparently intensified this week. Gates and other veterans are due to report to training camp on Thursday, with the first full-squad practice on Friday.

    "I've been blessed my whole career to be with one team." Gates said in a statement released by the team. "It's always good to get [the contract] out of the way. The goal is to win a championship. We all are human and it becomes a distraction even though you might not want it to be. It's always great to be able to go ahead and do what you need to do and get it out of the way."

    It wasn't clear if getting Gates' deal done would lead to new deals for restricted free agents Marcus McNeill, Vincent Jackson and Shawne Merriman.

    McNeill, the left tackle who protects quarterback Philip Rivers' blind side, and Jackson, a Pro Bowl wide receiver with two straight 1,000-yard seasons, are unhappy that they haven't been given long-term deals and are expected to hold out through training camp and the season's first 10 games. They are expected to return for the final six games to accrue another season toward unrestricted free agency.

    Jackson and McNeill were tendered one-year deals at just more than $3 million each. When they didn't sign the offers by June 15, the Chargers were entitled to offer them their same salaries as 2009, resulting in a loss of about $2.5 million each.

    Merriman hasn't signed his tender for $3.269 million, but the outside linebacker was due a 10 percent raise anyway, which would put his 2010 pay at approximately the tender amount. Still, he hasn't said when he'll report.

    These negotiations between Gates and the Chargers went much more smoothly than in 2005.

    Gates held out during training camp that year, leading general manager A.J. Smith to take the extreme measure of placing him on the roster exempt list in an attempt to break the impasse, automatically triggering a three-game suspension. Gates missed the final two exhibition games and the season opener, which the Chargers lost.

    Gates dumped the agent who represented him then and hired Tom Condon.

    Since his rookie season, Gates leads tight ends in touchdown catches with 59. He ranks second in yards, 6,223, and third in catches, 479. Gates has led the Chargers in catches each of the last six seasons. In 2009, he topped the Bolts with 79 catches and a career-best 1,157 yards, with eight touchdowns.

    The six-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team (2000-09).

    This is the second big contract for a Chargers player in less than a year. Rivers was given a contract extension worth nearly $93 million toward the end of last year's training camp.

    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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  • #2
    Remember how great if felt when the broncos extended doom? well thats how i feel right now.

    Its a great day for both sides, gates deserved it.
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    • #3
      Congrats Chargers fans, Gates is a great receiver! I always hate seeing him in Charger blue, would have loved to see him in Broncos blue! Oh well! Congrats anyways!

      Adopted Posters - Broncoholic MS, thatkidhunt, Al Wilson 4 Mayor, Thors Hammer, McSmashie, CanDB, Peanut, BroncoManiac_69, MightyHorse, CHARGER$, Chillez, EddieMac
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      • #4
        Originally posted by CHARGER$ View Post
        Remember how great if felt when the broncos extended doom? well thats how i feel right now.

        Its a great day for both sides, gates deserved it.
        Completely agree. Gates and Doom both earned their contracts. It's good to see teams rewarding players for handling negotiations the proper way. So how do you think that McNeil, Merriman and Jackson are gonna react to this?


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Downboy View Post
          Completely agree. Gates and Doom both earned their contracts. It's good to see teams rewarding players for handling negotiations the proper way. So how do you think that McNeil, Merriman and Jackson are gonna react to this?
          I don't really care how VJ feels about this, i do hope it lights a fire under MMs but to get a deal done. I don't think Merriman should have a deal done till he either proves hes back to form or just an average backer, then he can be paid accordingly. This is SMs chance to prove himself, should be intersting to see what he has left in a contract year.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by CHARGER$ View Post
            Remember how great if felt when the broncos extended doom? well thats how i feel right now.

            Its a great day for both sides, gates deserved it.
            congrats, its always nice to see contract extensions.

            Heres to a great season

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            • #7
              Great for the Chargers, bad for the Broncos. Oh well, he earned it. :thumb:
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              • #8
                Good for Gates. He has always struck me as the consummate professional. Too bad its with the Chargers, I was always hoping he would leave the AFC west, but it looks like he is going to haunt our safeties and linebackers for the next few years.
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                • #9
                  Well deserved.
                  Thanks, Reid!
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                  • #10
                    He better use that, I want him on my fantasy team!
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