Chargers give Gates ultimatum
Jay Glazer / FOXSports.com
Posted: 17 hours ago

The San Diego Chargers have made their move in the contract stalemate with All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates.

FOXSports.com has learned that the Chargers sent Gates a letter informing him that if he does not sign his tender (reported to be $380,000) by Saturday, he will be held out of both the season opener against Dallas in addition to the last two preseason games.

The letter also states that for every preseason and regular season game he misses after Saturday's game, he will be sat for an extra game. In other words, if Gates does not sign his tender until after the preseason, he will miss the first three games of the season, as the contract impasse between the two sides now hits another level. He will also not receive a game check for those games he is forced to sit.

For the games Gates is forced to miss, he will be held off the team's 53-man roster.

Gates last year was named an All Pro and wants to be paid along the lines of Chiefs' perennial Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez. The Chargers have negotiated with Gates for a while, but when they could not get a deal done prior to camp, Gates boycotted training camp.

Gates, who did not play college football, had a breakout year in 2004, making 81 catches for 964 yards and 13 touchdowns.