One of the key players for San Diego who makes an impact vs. the online bookmaker odds is Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates. The Chargers extended the contract of Gates on Wednesday which will keep the big tight end in San Diego through 2015.
Bookmaker odds list the Chargers at 9-1 to win the Super Bowl. San Diego has been very good in the regular season but they have not been able to get over the hump and win in the playoffs. San Diego’s offense is very good, led by quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates. The Chargers wanted to make sure that they have their Pro Bowl tight end for a long time so they inked him to a 5-year, $36.1 million dollar deal. The new deal will make him the highest paid tight end in the league. The deal includes over $20 million in guarantees.
San Diego has some other players who are unhappy with their contracts but the Chargers were more concerned about Gates. The Chargers still have to decide what to do with restricted free agents Marcus McNeill, Vincent Jackson and Shawne Merriman. The Chargers will not have Jackson for at least the first four games of the season and possibly longer as Jackson intends to hold out for a new contract. McNeill has also said that he will hold out and not report to training camp. Merriman has not decided when he will report to the team.
At least the Chargers don’t have to worry about Gates. He has been one of the top tight ends in the league and a player who can impact online bookmaker NFL odds. He has 59 TD catches since his rookie season. He has led the Chargers in receptions in each of the last six seasons. He had 79 catches and a career-best 1,157 yards, with eight touchdowns last season. He is a six-time Pro Bowler.
San Diego still has to work out a contract with first round draft pick Ryan Mathews. The Chargers are counting on Mathews to carry the load this season at running back but so far the team doesn’t seem close to working out a deal with the 12th overall pick.