Chargers tight end Gates to sign Sunday night

General Manager A.J. Smith admitted on Sunday that Antonio Gates will be in camp on Monday and will sign his tender tonight.

"He is going to sign this evening," said Smith.

The word going around the media was surrounding the possibility of Antonio Gates playing in the opener despite the Chargers placing on the exempt list and effectively deciding his future.

The hope from many is the Chargers can petition the league to step in and rescind the suspension and allow him to play in the opener.

That result, however, was not something that Smith was aware of – though he remained open to it.

"We would love to explore that," Smith said. "If he signs the tender, that is wonderful. We are told 100 percent that we won't have our tight end."

About the possibility of exploring getting Gates on the field for Dallas:

"We can have our tight end for Dallas? That is exciting. That would be unbelievable."

The sides have been trying to get a deal done for ten months and no real progress has been made.

The biggest holdup seems to be the amount of years that each side prefers. Gates and his agent would love a three year deal with top dollar compensation. The Chargers would prefer he sign a five year deal so they can absorb the blow of a $7 million signing bonus while offering him a significant amount per year.

According to Smith and Colona, negotiations are not progressing at all and at a standstill.

"Andre Colona said negotiations are dead in the water and we agree with that assessment," said Smith. "We can't get it together. We look forward to his call and in the window that we have up until Dallas to get something done.

"It affects us too. Not only is Antonio out of the game but our tight end is out of the game."

He may be out of the game but the best news is he will be in camp on Monday and the sides can move forward knowing they will have their tight end for most of the season. With the goal being advancing deep into the playoffs, Gates will be needed.

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