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View Full Version : Antonio Gates, a holdout


Morgan State 60
07-29-2005, 11:28 AM
http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20050729-9999-1s29chargers.html

Pro Bowler no-show at Chargers camp
By Kevin Acee and Jim Trotter
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS
July 29, 2005


Official preparations for Antonio Gates' encore season will start later than scheduled.

The Chargers Pro Bowler, who last season set an NFL record for touchdowns by a tight end, did not report to training camp yesterday.

Gates will not be at the team's first full-squad workout this morning at Chargers Park, and his agent said Gates will not report until he gets the long-term deal he desires.

"We are diligently working on a deal," agent Andre Colona said. "(Gates will report) when we get a deal. It could happen tonight; we're exchanging proposals . . . but it also could drag on."

Asked if Gates could miss the start of the regular season, Colona said: "In all honesty, I don't know if he's thought that far down the road. I guess as the summer and training camp progress, I'm sure that's an issue we'll have to deal with."

Such a scenario seems unlikely, in part because Gates would fail to earn an accrued season and be an exclusive-rights free agent again next year. It also behooves the Chargers to get one of their offensive centerpieces in uniform.

General Manager A.J. Smith did not return a phone message yesterday. The team did issue a statement addressing the absence of Gates and first-round pick Shawne Merriman.

Gates and Merriman are the only players among the 91 expected in camp not to report. The Chargers signed second-round pick Vincent Jackson yesterday to a five-year deal that included a $1.375 million signing bonus.

A person familiar with the Merriman talks said negotiations are ongoing, but it is unlikely the sides will agree until more top-20 draft picks sign.

The Chargers' statement read in part: "The team initiated discussions with Gates in the middle of the '04 season and talks are progressing with both players in hopes of coming to an agreement soon."

Gates seeks a contract in line with the best tight ends in the league. As an exclusive-rights free agent, Gates cannot negotiate with other teams. The Chargers are required only to offer him a one-year tender contract worth the third-year player minimum of $380,000. Because Gates has not signed a contract, he cannot be fined for sitting out.

While Gates has put together just one outstanding season, it was among the most spectacular seasons in team history. It is doubtful the Chargers would have been anywhere near 12-4 without his clutch play.

In addition to his 13 touchdown receptions, Gates was second in the NFL with 30 third-down catches. In all, 55 of Gates' 81 receptions accounted for first downs.

Gates, a basketball star at Kent State who did not play college football, was signed for $7,000 in 2003 as an undrafted rookie free agent. He started the final nine games of 2003, and while no one could have predicted his breakout would be so dramatic in 2004, he was the team's No. 3 receiver as a rookie.

Last year, in leading the Chargers in receptions and receiving yards, he used his basketball skills, speed and size (6-4, 260) to exploit matchup problems. He showed an exceptional ability to get open and seemed most of the time to be locked in with quarterback Drew Brees.

His 81 receptions were fourth in the NFL among tight ends. His 964 receiving yards were third among tight ends.

This year, Baltimore tight end Todd Heap, a four-year veteran, signed an extension that included $11 million in signing and roster bonuses. Kellen Winslow II of Cleveland signed a deal as a rookie before last season that included $10.4 million in signing and option bonuses. And eight-year veteran Tony Gonzalez of Kansas City, widely considered the benchmark of consistency among active tight ends, received $10 million in signing and roster bonuses when he signed his latest deal in 2002.

"He feels like he's the best tight end in the game, so he's looking for his market value," Colona said of his client. "We're just looking for a fair-market deal of what the best tight end in the game should earn."

Gates attended the team's minicamps and voluntary offseason workouts, even though he was not under contract.

"I feel like I play an imperative role in this offense and I want to make sure my team knows that I'm going to be there for them," he explained at the time.

"He loves football, loves his teammates, loves being out on the field at this time of year," Colona said. "But at the same time he understands that in addition to loving the game of football, there is also another side called the business of football, and he realizes he's dealing with the business of football.

"He's very disappointed because he has tried to give the organization everything he has, on the football field and off. But he understands now that it's business. But it's hard not to take it personally because of the kind of guy that he is."

Colona said he and Gates "went over all the issues, flipped them upside down, sideways and back and forth so he could be aware of all the possibilities, pro and con, of getting a deal done . . . He's well-versed on it, and as such he's comfortable with everything."

StcChief
07-29-2005, 11:30 AM
Surprise, surprise, surprise.

tomahawk kid
07-29-2005, 11:33 AM
YES!

Mile High Mania
07-29-2005, 11:35 AM
Nothing to be concerned about... they'll reach agreement on a deal.

HemiEd
07-29-2005, 11:35 AM
I hope he holds out the whole season. :D

Nzoner
07-29-2005, 11:41 AM
"I feel like I play an imperative role in this offense and I want to make sure my team knows that I'm going to be there for them," he explained at the time.

Okay.

jiveturkey
07-29-2005, 11:41 AM
Nothing to be concerned about... they'll reach agreement on a deal.
He was probably hanging out with TG over the summer and got some tips on how to miss the first part of camp.

The Chargers have the cap room, don't they?

Valiant
07-29-2005, 11:45 AM
He should get a new contract, but not over one year.. Hell we do not even know if it is a fluke yet... I'm sorry but you are not the best at your position after one great year.. If he does it agian, then yes make him the highest paid player... Get tired of all these guys sucking or doing marginal, then have one great year and 'show me the money..'

jiveturkey
07-29-2005, 11:48 AM
He should get a new contract, but not over one year.. Hell we do not even know if it is a fluke yet... I'm sorry but you are not the best at your position after one great year.. If he does it agian, then yes make him the highest paid player... Get tired of all these guys sucking or doing marginal, then have one great year and 'show me the money..'Yeah, it's pretty much ruined my life. I can't sleep knowing that these guys are treating business transactions like they're business transactions. PBJ

Breaking an NFL record for TD catches can't be a fluke.

BigChiefFan
07-29-2005, 12:40 PM
You're the BEST, Gates, hold-out for BIG, BIG money. You deserve Peyton Manning money.

dtebbe
07-30-2005, 09:50 AM
You're the BEST, Gates, hold-out for BIG, BIG money. You deserve Peyton Manning money.

Yes! Please do... REP!

DT

chop
07-30-2005, 09:57 AM
He should get a new contract, but not over one year.. Hell we do not even know if it is a fluke yet... I'm sorry but you are not the best at your position after one great year.. If he does it agian, then yes make him the highest paid player... Get tired of all these guys sucking or doing marginal, then have one great year and 'show me the money..'


Didn't Winslow get the best contract for a TE a couple of years ago? Talk about someone not deserving it. :shake:

RINGLEADER
07-30-2005, 11:32 AM
He'll sign for big money...then have a terrible season as Drew Brees' settles into the role of one-year wonder...

Ultra Peanut
07-30-2005, 02:02 PM
He does deserve a new contract. He had a massive season last year (and did great for me on the unluckiest fantasy football team ever -- in the top three or four in the league in scoring, at worst, almost every week in a 14-team league, and I barely squeaked into the six-team playoffs) and the money he's making doesn't reflect the role he's grown into.

Stinger
07-30-2005, 02:14 PM
Find it funny when someone holds out on a contract they signed. I wish once an NFL GM or owner would come out and say yes you had a great last year that is why we paid you so many $$. But the year before you absolutly sucked and we would like some of money back. Wonder how well that would go over?

DaneMcCloud
07-30-2005, 02:15 PM
"I'm Antonio Gates. Go F*ck yourselves, San Diego"

the Talking Can
07-30-2005, 02:17 PM
Sims should take the same principled stance and insist they cut his salary.

Mojo Rising
07-30-2005, 04:07 PM
Find it funny when someone holds out on a contract they signed. I wish once an NFL GM or owner would come out and say yes you had a great last year that is why we paid you so many $$. But the year before you absolutly sucked and we would like some of money back. Wonder how well that would go over?

Gates isn't holding out on a contract he signed. His contract expired but he hasn't been in the league long enough to be an un-resticted FA.

He does deserve a big contract as he is devloping into the premire player at his position. Teams will scheme for him more this year like they do for TG so I don't think he'll put up the same #'s.

We need to hope this hold-out lasts all pre-season. Gates didn't play football in college so he needs all of the practice he can get.

Pitt Gorilla
07-30-2005, 04:55 PM
Find it funny when someone holds out on a contract they signed. I wish once an NFL GM or owner would come out and say yes you had a great last year that is why we paid you so many $$. But the year before you absolutly sucked and we would like some of money back. Wonder how well that would go over?I was unaware that Gates was under contract.

Nightfyre
07-30-2005, 06:55 PM
"I'm Antonio Gates. Go F*ck yourselves, San Diego"
Nice reference, rep. "I did NOT see that coming!"