The tight end has played 16 NFL seasons.
The New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday in the AFC divisional round, by a score of 41-28. It was a game to forget for Chargers fans and the players themselves. As is usually the case when the season comes to an end, veteran players contemplate their future and whether or not they want to return to action. One of those players is Chargers tight end Antonio Gates who is 38 years old and has been in the league for 16 seasons.
"I just don't see myself walking away with this taste," Gates told ESPN. "And plus this team. I think when you add Hunter [Henry] back, and hopefully we get Jason Verrett back -- shoot, the sky's the limit. And I want to be a part of it."
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Gates has had a storied career with the Chargers. He has the team's record for the most receptions with 960 and also has the most yards and touchdowns. The tight end has spent the majority of his career catching passes from Philip Rivers who is 37. Gates spoke about whether or not he can still perform and if the Chargers will want him back.
"Of course I think I can still play. Do they think I can still play? That's just something -- I know [the Patriots] think I can still play because they keep doubling me," Gates explained. "I'll have to sit down with the head coach and the people that make these decisions and express how motivated I am to come back even better, as a player and as a teammate, and hopefully they bring me back."
The Patriots will now play the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game.