Antonio Gates is getting some career advice from his friend and former teammate LaDainian Tomlinson -- hang it up.
After 15 seasons with the Chargers, the team has cut ties with the 37-year-old tight end -- and he still hasn't been picked up by another squad.
So, when we saw LT -- who played 7 seasons with Gates in San Diego -- we asked if he thinks it's time for #85 to ride off into the sunset.
"I think he should retire a Charger," Tomlinson said ... "I definitely think he still can play, though."
"[Gates] became known as one of the greatest Chargers ever. I would hate to see him put on another uniform. It just doesn't seem right."
Interesting advice coming from Tomlinson, who played his final 2 seasons with the NY Jets after a legendary 9-year run with the Bolts.
Maybe he's speaking from experience ...