Antonio Gates is gluten-free and ticked off.
The greats have to keep finding new things to stoke the greatness, and so Gates grips his incentive in arms forged of a new resolve.
Gates has lost weight, even gotten leaner before, but he has always tended toward Pillsbury Dough Boy more than Man of Steel.
Now, a veteran of multiple serious foot injuries, far closer to the end of his career than the beginning and a little bit freaked out by that rapidly approaching mortality, he has eliminated wheat (and some other things) from his diet. Never before in a career going on 11 years has there been this definition, this sinew throughout his 255 pounds.
The story acknowledges that we heard similar things from Gates in previous seasons. While he seems to be keeping his weight off, his stock is still down from where we all once remember it. We rank him at 14th, with an ADP of the 12th round. The Chargers O-line still looks pretty bad, but the plan is to keep things simple: run more and get the ball out of Philip Rivers' hand quicker. He's only a TE2 option right now and there are better directions to go in until we see more. But someone will likely scoop him up based on name alone.