Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez made it clear all season that he was 95 percent sure he would be retiring after 16 years in the NFL. But last week, it was reported that there was no timetable for his decision, and now, according to ESPN's Ed Werder, Gonzalez is wavering.
“I think if the circumstances are right,” a player close to Gonzalez told Werder, “Tony will come back.”
None of this should be a surprise. Gonzalez clearly wanted to win a Super Bowl title (or at least, play in a Super Bowl), and that dream ended when the 49ers beat the Falcons in the playoffs. Even though Gonzalez ticked up his chances of retirement to 97 percent in January, losing to San Francisco might have changed his mind.
As one would have imagined.
Mostly because Gonzalez is still a top-five tight end -- even at 36 years old. In 2012, he caught 93 passes for 930 yards and eight touchdowns. He's still one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in Atlanta, and knowing that, here's what general manager Thomas Dimitroff said recently:
“A guy who is 36, catching 100-plus balls, it just doesn't seem like it's time for him to move on. Tony's a man and he's got to make his own decision. Suffice to say, it's not going to be easy one way or another because he knows that he still has fuel in the tank, and it's very legitimate fuel in the tank."
Dimitroff isn't the only one who thinks so.
According to Werder (via NFL.com), “I'm told virtually everyone in the Falcons' organization has been campaigning for Gonzalez to make one more Super Bowl run. And I'm told that he's beginning to waver. The people who have spoken to him seem to believe that they're making progress.”