<strong>July 30, 2005</strong>
The Antonio Gates holdout is clearly going against the wishes of the Chargers. It's not that the Chargers begrudge him a pay raise. They are offering him one of the better tight end contracts in the NFL. What they don't want to do is have him play the next two years without a big raise.
Gates is scheduled to play this season with a $380,000 salary, the tender for a third-year player. Gates is demanding a Tony Gonzalez-type contract, which is a little more than the Chargers want to pay. Gonzalez, who has been the NFL's best tight end for the past several years, received a seven-year, $33 million contract.
The Chargers offer isn't equal to the Gonzalez deal because Gates hasn't been playing at Gonzalez's level for as long as the Chiefs' perennial Pro Bowl tight end. Gates is coming off his first Pro Bowl season and is clearly one of the best young tight ends in the game.