San Diego Chargers Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates has signed a five-year extension with the team worth $36.17 million. $20.4 million of that is guaranteed. The deal will make him the highest-paid tight end in the NFL, with Gates averaging $7.23 million per season from 2011-2015.
Gates set a career high with 1,157 receiving yards last season. He leads all tight ends in touchdowns from 2003, when he debuted in the league, until now, with 59.
With Gates contract out of the way, the Chargers can try to strike long-term deals with left tackle Marcus McNeill and wide receiver Vincent Jackson, both of whom are unhappy with their current contract status and threatening to holdout until after Week 10 of the regular season.