Antonio Gates has shown unique attributes as a standout tight end player and his pass blocking abilities is something to be grasped. Despite not playing football in college, Gates joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2003. Since then, the player has continued to pull a lot of stunts; hence, finding his way to superstardom.
He has been a prominent member of the Los Angeles Chargers and has been active for over fifteen professional seasons. Amazingly, he has appeared in the Pro Bowl eight times and has earned NFL All-Pro First team selection for three times. Learn more about Antonio Gates below.
The Chargers gladiator was born as Antonio Ethan Gates Jr. to African-American parents Henry Gates and his wife, Vanelia Gates. Antonio came into this world on the 18th day of June 1980 and was born in Detroit, Michigan in the United States. As a child, Antonio spent his early years in Detroit where he completed his basic education at Central High School.
Following his height and physique, Antonio was recruited to play the tight end position for the high school team. After a wonderful high school career, the tight end player went on to enroll at Michigan State University where he played college football under Nick Saban.
Being a multi-sport athlete, Antonio attended many colleges in a bid to find a favorable program. He changed from Michigan State because his coach Nick asked him to focus only on football. He went on to enroll at Eastern Michigan University where he played both basketball and football. Upon joining the school team, Antonio completed his first college season at Eastern Michigan before changing to the College of the Sequoias. There he decided to focus on his academics before he was recruited by Kent State University basketball team.
Playing the role of a basketball power forward for the Golden Flashes, Antonio helped the school team to win their first Conference Championship as a junior. The following year, he was named to the All-American Team after having a record of 20.6 points per game. He also averaged 4.1 assists and 7.7 rebounds per game. At the end of his college season, the star player was told by NBA scouts that he won’t be able to make an NBA team because he appears to be a tweener.
Professional Career Stats
After facing disappointment in becoming a pro basketballer, Antonio Gates decided to try his hands in football, even though he never played football in college. Following his declaration of interest in the playing in the NFL, Gates was contacted by various NFL teams. Interestingly, luck smiled on the tight end player as he was signed by the Los Angeles Chargers on his first trial.
Antonio went on to make his first professional appearance for the Chargers in the 2003 regular season. He recorded 389 yards while catching 24 passes. The tight end recorded his breakout season in 2004; thus finishing the season with a total of 13 touchdowns, 964 yards, and 81 receptions. In the end, Antonio got his first Pro Bowl call-up. From 2006 to 2008, the player also earned Pro Bowl selections despite being plagued by injuries.
In 2009, Antonio recorded one of the best seasons in his career; the player notched a career high of 1,157 receiving yards as well as 79 receptions and eight touchdowns. He got a five-year contract extension from the Chargers in 2010. The deal was leveled at $36 million with $20 million guaranteed. In the same year, Antonio got his seventh Pro Bowl selection after having ten touchdowns, 782 yards, and 50 receptions in ten appearances. He was named to his consecutive Pro Bowl in 2011.
The tight end star has continued to show high productivity and increased performance for the Chargers, he got a two-year contract extension in 2015. Antonio set an NFL record as a tight end with most career touchdowns in 2017. He made his 112th career touchdown against Miami Dolphins in week 2. Following the drafting of Hunter Henry, the Chargers told Antonio that he won’t be re-signed for the 2018 season. However, the team went on to keep Gates following the absence of Henry who was placed on injured reserved.
Antonio Gates’ Net Worth
The player has been enjoying a wonderful football career and has become one of the trending tight end players in the league. He has made a huge wealth for himself and his net worth is currently estimated to be $30 million. Antonio makes his wealth from his football career as well as other endorsements.
See Also: Alex Collins Biography and NFL Career
Antonio Gates’ Wife and Family
The outstanding tight end player Antonio Gates has been active off the field and has got an amazing wife. Gates has been married to an American model named Sasha Dindayal. The pair met each other several years ago and finally walked down the aisle in July 2011. Together they have two children, a daughter named Ayla Gates and a son Aven Gates. Ayla was born in 2014 while their son, Aven was born the following year.
Prior to their marriage, Antonio was previously dating a lady named Elizabeth Patterson. However, their relationship didn’t last for a long time before taking a wrong turn. The pair had a daughter named Ananda Gates albeit they were never married. Antonio has been enjoying a blissful union and currently resides with his family in Encino, California.