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Antonio Gates on retirement: I don’t want to go out this kind of way

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 30: Tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers picks up yards after a second quarter catch during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 30, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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The 2015 season has not been the best of times for Chargers tight end Antonio Gates.

He started the year serving a four-game suspension for a PED violation, has had to deal with a knee injury since returning to action and the Chargers have a 3-10 record after a miserable season on the field. On Sunday, Gates, who turns 36 in June, said he hasn’t made any final decisions about whether he’ll return for a 14th season but sounded like he was leaning in that direction.

“I don’t want to go out this kind of way,” Gates said, via U-T San Diego. “I don’t want to go out as a loser. Winning is the way, ideally, you want to go out. ... I want to make one more run at it, and then if it doesn’t work, be like, ‘OK.’ That’s just my feeling right now.”

Gates has remained productive with 45 catches for 497 yards and four touchdowns in eight games this season, but doesn’t have a contract for next year and there figure to be some changes with the Chargers after the way this year unfolded. He said spending his entire career with one team is a factor he’ll consider along with reaching his goal of catching the most touchdowns of any tight end in history. He’s nine shy of Tony Gonzalez right now and it sounds like he’ll pick up wherever he left off come next September.