Antonio Gates is quite simply one of the best tight ends to ever play the game of football. As it stands, Gates ranks first all-time in tight end touchdowns with 116. He is third in receptions with 955 and third in yards with 11,841. Gates is 39 years old and for years now, there has been speculation about when he would want to walk away from the game. Today, Gates took to Twitter where he issued a statement to his fans. As he explains, he will finally be calling it a career after 16 incredible seasons with the Chargers.

Thanks to his personal accomplishments, Gates will certainly be a Hall of Fame candidate although it remains to be seen whether or not his efforts will not just be recognized but rewarded as well.

Gates' retirement will certainly serve as a blow to Chargers fans. Gates was part of some of the franchise's best years, especially dating back to when they were in San Diego. Moving forward, the Chargers appear to be in a bit of a rebuild as quarterback Philip Rivers' future is in question. Gates will forever be loved by the fanbase and NFL fans as a whole be appreciative for how he helped change the tight end position.