Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Chargers’

Tight end Antonio Gates remains a free agent a few weeks out from training camps, but an old teammate believes the future Hall of Famer is alright with that.

“I believe the only place Antonio wants to play is the Chargers … I think he has the mind frame of ‘if I go play it’s gonna be for the Chargers if it’s not the Chargers then I’m good, I won’t play,” former running back LaDainian Tomlinson said on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

The Chargers allowed Gates to become a free agent at the beginning of the 2018 league year when his previous contract officially expired.

The team was expected to hand over the starting tight end job to 23-year-old Hunter Henry, but Henry suffered a torn ACL in an offseason practice and was ruled out for what would have been his third season.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco and quarterback Philip Rivers have both hinted at the possibility of a return for Gates, who has spent the entirety of his 15-year career with the Chargers organization, but nothing has materialized yet. Veteran Virgil Green remains atop the Chargers’ tight end depth chart.

Tomlinson serves as a special assistant in the Chargers’ front office and played with Gates for seven seasons.

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Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram became the latest NFL player to predict a Super Bowl victory for his team.

After his first practice with Los Angeles during organized team activities, Ingram had trouble containing his excitement for the upcoming season.

“This Super Bowl we’re going to win,” Ingram told reporters Monday, according to ESPN’s Eric D. Williams. “We haven’t been to the playoffs in a while. I think it’s going to be crazy, this Super Bowl we’re going to win is going to be crazy. We’re ready. We’ve got to bring a Super Bowl to the city.”

The Chargers haven’t reached the postseason since 2013, and narrowly missed the playoffs last year after going 9-7. Ingram believes a positive attitude is the first step necessary to end the streak.

“Nah, (my Super Bowl prediction) is not added pressure,” he said. “I was taught you’ve got to speak stuff into existence. If you want to do something, you’ve got to say you’re going to do it and then you’ve got to go do it.

“We can’t just say we’re just trying to win a few games. Nah, that’s not what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to win a Super Bowl.”

Ingram tied a career high with 10.5 sacks in 2017 while forming a dynamic edge-rushing duo with fellow defensive end Joey Bosa.

In wake of the season-ending injury to Hunter HenryLos Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco appeared receptive Friday to the possibility of re-signing tight end Antonio Gates.

“Would be a natural fit, right? I saw that Philip voted for it,” Telesco wrote online in a chat with Chargers fans, according to Sean Wagner-McGough of CBS Sports. “When it comes to roster moves, we are not a democracy. But we are not a dictatorship either. His vote was noted and accounted for. Antonio’s accomplishments and contributions to this organization are immeasurable. We will see what the future holds. I don’t have an update at this time.”

Gates has spent the entire offseason in free-agency, seemingly failing to attract interest from teams around the NFL. The Chargers previously announced they weren’t going to bring back the 37-year-old, but Henry’s torn ACL has forced Los Angeles to at least reconsider that stance.

Rivers, who’s been teammates with Gates since 2004, recently endorsed the idea of re-signing his longtime tight end.

Gates is the Chargers’ all-time leader in catches, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.

With his top tight end already ruled out for the 2018 season because of a torn ACL, Philip Rivers hopes the Los Angeles Chargers are receptive to the idea of bringing back Antonio Gates for a 16th season.

“I’d always be excited if he walked back in the door,” Rivers said Tuesday of his longtime teammate, according to Jack Wang of the Los Angeles Daily News.

The Chargers announced publicly at the end of April they would not re-sign Gates, a free agent who’s spent his entire career with the franchise.

The 37-year-old was surpassed on the depth chart permanently last season by Hunter Henry, but the season-ending ACL injury suffered by Henry recently leaves the Chargers with a major hole at tight end.

“It would get my vote,” Rivers added when asked about the possibility of reuniting with Gates for another campaign.

Even with his athletic abilities in decline, Gates has remained a reliable target in the short-passing game for Rivers over the past few seasons. The two have been Chargers teammates since 2004.

Gates, who notched 316 yards and three touchdowns receiving across 16 contests last season, hasn’t appeared to attract significant interest as a free agent.

The Los Angeles Chargers were recently called the team to beat in the AFC West by Denver Broncos general manager John Elway. But Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn doesn’t want to hear it.

“That sounds like a mousetrap to me,” Lynn said Thursday during an appearance on “NFL Up to the Minute,” via Herbie Teope of NFL.com. “That’s all I can say about that drill.

“We know Kansas City won this division, they had a good draft, they brought in some key free agents. To me, that’s still the team to beat in this division. Until we beat Kansas City, we can’t even talk about playoffs and things like that.”

The Chargers overcame an 0-4 start to finish 2017 second in the division (9-7), winning six of their final seven games. The Chiefs (10-6) finished on top, but lost to the Tennessee Titans in the wild-card round.

Kansas City then traded veteran quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins. Now the Chiefs appear set to hand the offense to sophomore QB Patrick Mahomes.

The team didn’t have a first-round pick in the 2018 draft, but selected defensive end Breeland Speaks with the 46th overall choice. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins was the Chiefs’ marquee free-agent addition.

With the draft and free agency in the rearview, things are beginning to take shape across the NFL as the countdown to the season begins.

One division that promises to be wide open this year is the AFC West, with each club facing a number of questions that must be answered for them to be considered contenders.

The Denver Broncos certainly improved at their most vulnerable position by signing quarterback Case Keenum in the offseason, but despite that signing, general manager John Elway pointed toward another team in the division as the favorites.

“I thought the Chargers did a really nice job with the draft,” Elway said last week, via Peter King of The MMQB. “They’ve got a settled quarterback, even though the Raiders do too. Looking at it, (the Chargers) may be the ones to beat.”

After starting the season with four straight losses, Los Angeles rebounded by posting a 9-3 mark to close the schedule, narrowly missing the playoffs on the last day of the season.

With star pivot Philip Rivers back for his 15th season, the offense will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with yet again. Adding former Florida State star Derwin James in the first round of the draft was a savvy move by the club, as it now has a talented player in the secondary to pair with the ferocious pass-rush of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

Oddsmakers appear to agree with Elway’s assessment, as the Westgate Superbook has the Chargers listed as 3-2 favorites to claim the division crown.

A candidate to be selected No. 1 overall in the draft on Thursday, Baker Mayfield seems to have made a negative impact in his pre-draft interview with the Los Angeles Chargers, who own the No. 17 selection.

Mayfield admitted last week to a lack of preparation for the interview, saying, “I didn’t look at (the Chargers) playbook as much as I should have. It could have gone a little bit better … but at the same time, I’m prioritizing which playbooks I’m going to learn. No offense to them, but I’ve got a lot on my plate,” according to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco got his chance to respond on Monday, and he’s apparently not letting Mayfield off the hook for his busy schedule.

“I’m probably not prepared to comment on that. My plate’s pretty full. No offense, Dan,” Telesco told Woike.

It remains to be seen how the Cleveland BrownsNew York GiantsNew York Jets, or the other QB-hungry teams picking at the top of the draft feel about Mayfield’s treatment of the Chargers.