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Gates to Report on Sunday (1 Viewer)

Uh oh, I might be off the San Diego Charger fan Christmas Card list...that sux.
Nobody cares if you blast the Chargers. We Charger fans do it all the time.But it helps if it's for a legitimate reason. When you ask why the Chargers would suspend Gates to spite themselves, for example, you're betraying a lack of information about the subject. They didn't supsend him, and it wasn't to spite themselves.
Chargers threaten to suspend Gates if he doesn't show up to camp. That's a choice by the organization, yes or no? And if it's a choice than it deserves criticism...I'm not the only one that thinks this was a bad move on their part. Just because you, GPN, and Groovus all agree and other FBG Chargerfans, doesn't mean you're right I'm worng...it's a difference of opinions.Maybe 1 game won't matter...but there are only 16 games in the season, it's not like in Basketball and a player misses 1 game, or Baseball, etc...

You guys make it seem like the Chargers are just following some sort of NFL policy which isn't the case. he's not the only player out there that hasn't reported to camp(althought i am sure there are not many left). I don't hear of anyone else suspended for the last 2 preseason games and week 1.
Here's what I don't get: what should they have done instead? As far as I'm concerned, they did the smart thing. First of all, they worded the letter so that Gates & his agent knew or should have known that he was 100% certain to miss the first game if he didn't report by Saturday. It was a classic doomsday device. At that point, you have to figure that Gates is 95% sure to report by Saturday.

It turns out that the agent was too stupid to understand this, and Gates didn't report until Sunday. To me, that is the agent's fault. Maybe AJ should have known that the agent was a clod, but still, that's mostly the agent's fault.

Even ignoring the fact that the unexpected happened, I still think that the current result (Gates in camp today + missing week 1) is better than the likely alternative (Gates in camp on Sept 5 + playing week 1)

the question I have is why did he not show up on Friday (?) when they set the deadline.. If he had, than he would have had played week 1
I honestly don't think his agent understood the rules under the collective bargaining agreement. He was under the impression that the exemption could be lifted after Gates reported.
Besides, don't take it for granted that Gates can walk away, if they don't franchise him. He will be a restricted FA, which means that the Chargers can match any offer. Any team that offers will not only have to pay Gates very big bucks, but ALSO have to give up a first and a third. So the Chargers are in the driver's seat.

This is interesting.

S.D.'s Gates blames travel problems for not arriving by deadline

Antonio Gates hadn't even stepped on the field and he already was running some zigzag routes.

Besides contradicting his agent, the record-setting tight end said on Monday that travel problems kept him from reporting to training camp by Saturday afternoon, as mandated by the San Diego Chargers.

Missing the deadline had serious consequences. The Chargers say they will place the All-Pro on the Roster Exempt List, meaning he'll have to sit out the final two exhibition games and the season opener against Dallas on Sept. 11.

"You don't understand," Gates said during a nine-minute news conference before he was hustled off to a meeting. "I tried to come in Saturday but I couldn't get a flight. So we ended up calling and explaining we weren't able to make it in Saturday. So it wasn't my intention to actually miss the deadline."

That was news to the Chargers, who despite 10 months of talks have been unable to agree with Gates' agent on terms of a long-term contract.

The team never mentioned Gates' failure to get a flight, either in a statement Saturday afternoon announcing that Gates had missed the deadline, or on Sunday when general manager A.J. Smith held a news conference at halftime of a 36-21 exhibition win over St. Louis.

"As you know, all the rumors were that he was on his way," Smith said Sunday. "We had not officially heard that. But we got a phone call before we kicked off. He is on his way. He is going to sign the tender this evening."

Smith didn't immediately return a phone call on Monday.

But, said team spokesman Bill Johnston: "We only had conversations with the agent on Saturday morning, and the agent never informed us that Antonio was coming in on Saturday. We weren't notified until Sunday before the game."

Gates' agent, Andre Colona, didn't return a phone call or e-mail seeking comment.

Gates, an exclusive-rights free agent, reported Sunday night and signed a $380,000, one-year contract, the minimum for a third-year player.

Gates had a breakout year in 2004, helping the Chargers go 12-4 and reach the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons. Gates caught 13 touchdown passes -- a league record for tight ends -- and led the Chargers with 81 catches for 964 yards.

Gates also said he wants negotiations to continue after the season opener, contradicting reports quoting Colona as saying the player doesn't want to extend talks past Sept. 11.

"Absolutely," Gates said when asked if he'd negotiate through the season. "The door is definitely open to negotiation. We're still talking. Things are going perfectly fine right now."

On Sunday, Smith concurred with Colona that "negotiations are dead in the water."

"I'm quite sure at some point something will get done," said Gates, who wants to be paid in the range of the league's other top tight ends. "I'm here basically on good faith that something will get done. They want me here, so we have an understanding that most likely something will get done."

In an attempt to break an impasse, the team sent Colona a letter more than a week ago ordering Gates to be in camp and sign a contract by Saturday, or be put on the Roster Exempt List.

"I didn't really feel upset about the situation," Gates said. "I thought it could have been done different ways. For the most part I want to move forward from that. I'm back here, I'm healthy, I'm ready to get ready to play."

But he won't be able to play until the second regular-season game, Sept. 18 at Denver.

Gates said he heard there was a way to get the roster exemption lifted, but NFL spokesman Steve Alic reiterated on Monday that no such process exists.

"There's no precedent for anything being altered," Alic said.


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