After the 2012 season, Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez was 95-percent retired. And he returned.
After the 2013 season, Gonzalez’s moved his estimate to 100 percent. And he has said he won’t be returning.
Now with CBS, which televises Thursday Night Football, Gonzalez explained that he won’t be returning to the Week Three TNF host team.
“No,” Gonzalez said about a possible reunion with the Falcons. “I know I can still play. But at the same time, I got 17 years in the league. I really do feel content and happy to be up here because I win every week.”
Gonzalez’s options aren’t limited to the Falcons. He signed a two-year deal in 2013, which as a practical matter gave the Falcons his rights for 2014, if he decided to give it another go. By not retiring before the start of the league year in March, Gonzalez forced the Falcons to cut him before a balloon payment came due. As a result, Gonzalez can now sign with any team, at any time.
Literally, at any time. Even during the playoffs.
If, for example, one of the Super Bowl teams has a tight end suffer an injury in the conference title game (it happened three years ago, when Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski badly sprained an ankle), Gonzalez can sign a contract and suit up for a one-game shot at the Super Bowl ring he never won.