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Antonio Gates Among Modern-Era Nominees for Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024

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Antonio Gates is up for his first crack at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The former Chargers tight end — who is one of the best to ever play his position — is among the 173 modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024.

The Hall of Fame announced the news Tuesday, along with the fact that Gates is one of nine players on the list who are in their first year of eligibility.

The list of modern-era nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November, with the 2024 Class being announced in early 2024.

An eight-time Pro Bowl selection, Gates was also a member of five Associated Press All-Pro teams and is a member of the NFL's All Decade Team (2000-09). He was also honored on the Chargers 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.

An undrafted free agent who joined the Bolts in 2003, Gates finished his career with 955 receptions for 11,841 yards and 116 touchdowns. He spent his entire 16-year career in powder blue.

Gates' 116 touchdown receptions are the most by a tight end in NFL history, as are his 21 career 21 multi-touchdown games. Gates' 39 touchdown receptions on third down are also the most in league history at tight end and tied with Hall of Fame WR Cris Carter for No. 3 overall.

Over the course of his career, Gates registered eight seasons with eight-plus receiving touchdowns, the most ever by a tight end and tied for No. 5 all-time.

The Bolts announced last month that Gates will be inducted into the Chargers Hall of Fame during the 2023 season.

Gates, the 41st member enshrined into the Chargers Hall of Fame, will be honored during Week 14 against Denver.

"As I've said many times now, Antonio is not only one of the greatest Chargers to ever play the game, he's one of the greatest players in NFL history," Controlling Owner and Chairman of the Board Dean Spanos said in September. "That couldn't be any truer today than it was at the time of his retirement. As the years have passed, and as the game has continued to evolve, it's impossible not to notice the impact Antonio has had on the modern NFL and the way team's utilize tight ends. Just as Kellen Winslow forever changed the position decades earlier, Antonio redefined what it meant to be a tight end in the 21st century. His contributions to our organization, on the field and off, are those of a Hall of Famer. This was, to me, always a mere formality. After we celebrate him at SoFi Stadium this December, I look forward to doing it once again in Canton."

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