Tony Gonzalez Needs to Return for Another Year

Losing Tony Gonzalez would be a big blow to the Falcons offense. (Josh Weiss)

Losing Tony Gonzalez would be a blow to the Falcons offense. (Josh Weiss)

Back in July, Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said he was 95 percent sure this season would be his last season. There’s still a five percent chance he doesn’t retire, and the Falcons hope he returns for another year.

Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon believes Gonzalez will come back:

“I think he’s coming back. I think if we had a bad year, he wouldn’t come back. But we had a great year, so I think we are right there.”

I feel the same way as Weatherspoon. The Falcons were essentially 10 yards away from heading to the Super Bowl; being so close, yet so far away has to leave both a good and bad taste in the tight end’s mouth.

At 36 years of age, Gonzalez finished the regular season with 93 receptions for 930 yards and eight touchdowns. Those numbers were his best since coming to Atlanta in 2009. Even at his age, Gonzalez can still play at a high level. With wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White on the outside, it’s nearly impossible to stop Gonzalez one-on-one. It was “Pick Your Poison” with these three.

Ideally, Gonzalez would’ve liked to ride off into the sunset with a Super Bowl victory this season, but it’s still a possibility for next season.

Expect Gonzalez to mull this decision over for a few months. If he does come back, the Falcons are in great shape. If he doesn’t, the league will bid farewell to the best tight end to ever play. The Falcons would have a hard time replacing him, and it would be a shame if he’s unable to get that ring.

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