The future Hall of Famer has already made it known he wants to play at least another season and the franchise has also expressed interest.
The team will open contract negotiations with Gates' agent, Tom Condon, at the NFL Scouting Combine next week, and talks are expected to be pretty straightforward, according to Michael Gehlken of The San Diego Union-Tribune.
The Chargers also have to deal with fellow tight end Ladarius Green's expiring contract.
"We'll talk to Tom Condon in a little more detail in Indy, and we'll talk to Ladarius' guy in Indy as well," general manager Tom Telesco said. "It's February, and we've got until September to get the position together the best way we see fit. So, we'll see. Through our own players, through free agency and through the draft, we'll see."
Gates had another solid season, making 56 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns in 2015. But with 2016 likely Gates' last season, the franchise will need to move forward with Green at the right price or select another "tight end of the future" in the upcoming draft.