Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers has been given an ultimatum: Sign or don’t play.

Gates had a breakout year last year, putting up better numbers than Tony Gonzalez most weeks. He was and is an integral part of the Charger’s offense. He was a sleeper that I picked up after my fantasy draft ended and wound up being one of my best scorers in the fantasy league.

This year, though, he wanted some better money fitting his new role, but could not come to terms with his team on what it will be. Management has thrown the shoe on the table, now: 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.

Now, missing an additional game for every game that passes before he signs means that even if he misses the preseason games, he will also be held out for regular season games. Tough love, for sure.

Hopefully he will sign, and he will have another career year, and next year management will pay him a little bit more so that we don’t have this fiasco all over again.