Once again, the season has ended earlier than Tony Gonzalez had hoped. He has yet to win a playoff game, but the great tight end told the AJC that he may have played his final game in the NFL.
“It’s always a possibility,” Gonzalez said. “Year 15 is a long time.”
At game’s end, as his teammates trudged off the sideline to congratulate the Packers, Gonzalez paused a moment. Sitting on the seatback with his feet on the bench, he looked into the distance.
“Here we go again,” is what the 11-time Pro Bowl tight end said he was thinking.
Gonzalez has one year left on his contract, and the team would like him to return. Gonzalez, who turns 35 in February, will take time to get away from football and make a decision later. If he leaves the game now, it won’t be because he isn’t playing at a top level. He caught 70 passes, made the Pro Bowl and started all 16 games for the 11th time in his 14 seasons. Following the game, he raved about the team’s core and guaranteed that the Falcons will be one of the NFL’s glamour teams over the next five or six years.
“That’s definitely going to weigh into my decision whether or not I come back,” he said.
Considering Gonzalez will have as good a chance as he ever has to win a title next year, I would be shocked if he wasn’t back for a another season. He was able to show anyone in the country still watching the game after the score was out of control why he continues to be one of the best when he fought back from an ankle injury to return to the field.
I will continue to hope somehow Gonzalez ends up back in Kansas City for one final run. But my money would be one more year in Atlanta and then calling it a career.