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How Much Would You Pay Jimmy Graham?

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Sep 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) scores a touchdown on a 56-yard pass play from quarterback Philip Rivers (not pictured) during second half action against the Dallas Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Gates (2003-Present)

July 2010, Antonio Gates was never given even a thought to look elsewhere, as he signed a 5-year contract extension, which was worth $36.175M, and guaranteed $20.4M. Gates was an undrafted rookie free agent from Kent State when he joined the Chargers, and was another ‘anomaly’ in the era of the ‘basketball’ tight end. The deal gave Gates about $7.235M/year, and made him the highest paid tight end in league history. In all fairness, it ensured that Gates would stay a Charger for life. However, his reign as the top paid tight end was extremely short-lived.