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Gates still not in Chargers camp

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. robdog
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    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    <strong>August 8, 2005</strong>
    Source: <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2129144">ESPN.com
    </a>
    <img src="http://www.bolttalk.com/images/gates03.jpg" class="right" alt="Antonio Gates" title="Antonio Gates"/>The gates remain open to a settlement that could end Antonio Gates' holdout but neither side is coming on the grounds to get an agreement before the San Diego Chargers' first preseason game.

    Negotiations for a contract extension, initiated by the Chargers in November of last season, remain unresolved on two major topics -- term and whether Gates should make more than Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez.

    Over the weekend, Gates' agent, Andre Colona, made a compromise immediately rejected by the Chargers. For the first time, Colona dropped Gates' demand below the seven-year, $33.311 million contract given to Gonzalez, the league's highest paid tight end. Gonzalez's deal voids after the fifth year and that drops the averages to around $4.3 million a season.

    To hope to get a settlement, Colona recently told the Chargers he was willing to take less than Gonzalez but only if he could take a three-year contract.

    The Chargers won't do that because the 25-year-old Gates would become a free agent when he's 28 in 2008. Instead, the Chargers dropped the proposal from six years to five, but Gates and Colona aren't going for it.

    Colona was unavailable Monday. When asked about the negotiations Monday, Chargers general manager A.J. Smith would only say, "The lines of communication are open."

    So the holdout continues. Gates, a former college basketball player who established himself as one of the best tight ends in football in his first two years, is scheduled to make $380,000 as a exclusive rights free agent. He is not being fined for his absence because he doesn't have a contract.

    The best guess is the Chargers are willing to pay Gates close to $4 million a year but only if he signs for five or six years.

    Gates' options are to play out the season at $380,000 and become a restricted free agent next year. The Chargers would tender him as a restricted free agent for first- and third-round compensation at a cost of around $2 million. Gates is so good teams might be willing to offer a first- and a third-round pick. The Chargers can add another $500,000 to the tender and further limit Gates' ability to get a contract with another team.

    The Chargers' hope is to get Gates to agree to a long-term deal. Unfortunately for both sides, they can't get the right number

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