General manager Tom Telesco said on 97.3 The Fan in San Diego that he's been in touch with reps for the veteran tight end about a possible return.
"Obviously, Antonio would be a natural fit," Telesco said, via the L.A. Daily News. "He's someone that we have talked to. We've talked to his representatives. Sometimes, it's not just as easy as saying, 'Hey, let's just bring him back. Let's go.'"
The Chargers publicly said goodbye to the eight-time Pro Bowler in April after 15 seasons. Hunter Henry's ACL tear last month, however, created a need for another tight end. Gates is a logical place to turn.
Gates, who turns 38 in four days, had a career-low 316 receiving yards in 2017 on 30 catches. Father Time clearly caught up with the all-time great, but his familiarity with the offense and rapport with Philip Rivers make a reunion possible.
Given Gates' knowledge of the system and organization, there is no rush to get a deal done as the team heads into summer break following Thursday's final day of minicamp. The Chargers open training camp on July 28. It remains to be seen if Gates will be back with them at that time.