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Chargers agree to 2-year extension with longtime TE Antonio Gates

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Gates was hours away from hitting the open market, but the Chargers have signed him to an extension.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers announced that they've agreed to a new two-year deal with veteran tight end Antonio Gates. The two-year deal is worth $12 million, according to Rand Getlin of NFL Network. Gates has played his entire 13-year career with the Chargers and, early in the offseason, it looked unlikely that he would get extended.

San Diego looked ready to move on from both Gates and safety Eric Weddle. But in the end, the team got an extension to keep Gates around for what could be the rest of his career in the NFL.

Gates has been the top tight end in the league for much of his career in the NFL, though at 35 years old he's definitely slowed down in recent years. Due to suspension and injuries, he missed five games last season, but still caught 56 passes for 630 yards and five touchdowns.

If he hadn't missed those games, his numbers would have been par for the course for Gates in recent years. In 2014, he finished with 69 receptions for 821 yards and 12 touchdowns. Gates has made the Pro Bowl eight times in his career, and has been a first-team All-Pro three times. He's been a second-team All-Pro player two times as well.

Gates was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the league's rules on performance enhancing drugs. In Gates' first game back from suspension, he caught his 100th and 101st career touchdown receptions. At this point, he doesn't have much left to prove in his career, and will likely finish it with the Chargers after this extension.