Report: Antonio Gates likely to remain with Chargers

Don't expect to see Antonio Gates in a different uniform next September.

The veteran tight end has played his entire 13-year career with the Chargers, and the San Diego Union Tribune reports that an "air of formality" surrounds player and team as Gates heads toward free agency.

The Tribune reports that the Chargers plan to meet with Gates' agent, Tom Condon, at next week's NFL Scouting Combine. A new deal, or the framework of a new contract, could be worked out by then.

Injuries limited Gates to just 11 games last season, but he remained the team's most productive tight end. He finished with 56 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns. He has 104 touchdowns, just one of a cadre of franchise receiving records. His lasting chemistry with Philip Rivers makes him an interesting Hall of Fame candidate.

Four of San Diego's tight ends -- Gates, Ladarius Green, John Phillips and David Johnson -- have expiring contracts. Don't be surprised if Gates and the promising Green are both back in San Diego in 2016.

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