football

Chargers to cut ties with tight end Antonio Gates

• Tight end Antonio Gates will not return for a 16th season with the Los Angeles Chargers, a person with knowledge of the decision said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because the Chargers haven’t publicly announced their plans. Gates has spent his entire career with the Chargers, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2003. He went on to become the top receiver in franchise history, catching 927 passes for 11,508 yards and 114 touchdowns — the NFL scoring record for a tight end. Gates, a Kent State product, ranks third in career receptions by a tight end behind Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten. But Gates will turn 38 years old in June, and his role diminished steadily over the past three seasons. The Chargers recently let Gates know they were moving forward without him because his role would have been reduced even more in the upcoming season.

• Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten plans to retire after 15 seasons and join ESPN as its lead analyst for the Monday Night Football telecast, the network reported. Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones said he had several conversations with Witten this week and indicated the franchise leader in games, catches and yards receiving hadn’t made a final decision.

• Defensive end Rakeem Nunez-Roches signed his restricted free-agent tender with the Kansas City Chiefs and will make just under $2 million next season.

other sports

Rippon, Kenworthy skip White House visit

• President Donald Trump welcomed Team USA Olympic athletes to the White House, congratulating them on representing the U.S. at the 2018 winter games. Missing were several of the games’ biggest names, including figure skater Adam Rippon, a champion of gay rights. Some had said they had competing commitments. But others made clear they were boycotting in protest. American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy also chose not to attend.

• New Jersey left wing Taylor Hall, Los Angeles center Anze Kopitar and Colorado center Nathan MacKinnon are the finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player.

• Top Brazilian soccer official Marco Polo del Nero was banned for life for bribery and corruption by FIFA’s ethics committee. He was also fined $1 million.

• Rafael Nadal defeated Martin Klizan 6-0, 7-5 to extend his winning streak on clay and reach the Barcelona Open semifinals. Nadal will next face David Goffin, who defeated Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-2.

• Jamie McMurray rolled his car at least seven times at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. McMurray’s left rear tire appeared to fail in a practice session and it began a four-car accident. He climbed out of the car and walked to an ambulance.

— ABJ/Ohio.com wires