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Falcons holding out hope for Gonzalez’s 5 percent

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons Getty Images

All year long, Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez stood firm on his 95 percent retirement pledge.

But those closest to him see the door cracked, and they’re trying to get their foot in.

I’m hoping for the 5 percent,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said, according to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Tony handled this very well all season long. I don’t think he’s deviated from that.

“Tony and I will have a conversation over the next couple of weeks. This is a tough day, and the next couple of days are tough with the finality. I don’t think we really need to be discussing anything like that [yet].”

Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon must be one of those guys who only bets longshots at the track, because he sounded confident. The Falcons did get Gonzalez to his first playoff win in 16 seasons, but fell short in the NFC Championship Game, which they’re hoping sparks his competitive juices.

“I think he’s coming back,” Weatherspoon said. “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.”

Gonzalez was chosen to the Pro Bowl but said he probably won’t play because he wants his final game to be “for a team I love and respect.”

Those who love and respect him the most in Atlanta are hoping that game isn’t for some time.

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15 Responses to “Falcons holding out hope for Gonzalez’s 5 percent”
  1. vikesandravens78 says: Jan 22, 2013 9:22 AM

    One more year, Tony! You’re one of the greats!

  2. everton422 says: Jan 22, 2013 9:28 AM

    I was absolutely shocked when I saw the ESPN poll that ALL except three states thought Ray Lewis deserved a ring more than Tony Gonzales. This guy has been a top notch player that has never dropped a level in playing ability. Not only that, but he’s the definition of a class act. I would love to see him one more year in a Falcons jersey, he has too much left in the tank.

  3. skippynj says: Jan 22, 2013 9:38 AM

    He’s no dummy. He knows he needs to retire rather than be eclipsed by the best TE in the game, Jimmy Graham. Why come back and be humiliated by a younger, better receiver with an infinitely better QB throwing to him? Just go away, Tony, and watch as JG surpasses all your numbers.

  4. littlebirdie says: Jan 22, 2013 9:44 AM

    So you’re telling me there’s a chance…

  5. Chip Caray's Eyebrows says: Jan 22, 2013 9:44 AM

    Saints fans are the worst.

  6. hartcarluncarlun says: Jan 22, 2013 9:52 AM

    How can anyone thumbs down Tony being the greatest ever. WOW!!!!!

  7. nolaisadump says: Jan 22, 2013 9:54 AM

    I want some of what skipy is smokin

  8. SeenThisB4 says: Jan 22, 2013 10:22 AM

    I’m a Saints fan, and I too think that Tony should come back for one more year. It’d be better if he ended his career next year after facing a Sean Payton lead team in his Division. Let him retire quietly after his team has a mediocre second place season, rather than going out on a high note, after his team had a measure of success because their main rival was handicapped by the league this year.

  9. trojanwarrior007 says: Jan 22, 2013 10:28 AM

    they couldn’t stop him. he still has plenty left in the tank.

  10. bengalsucker says: Jan 22, 2013 10:31 AM

    Why is Lewis getting all this attention and Gonzalez almost none. All you hear is Ray Lewis. Yeah he’s a great football player. But was involved in a murder that he only got out of because he paid his “boys” to lie for him and he flipped on them so he could get out of the charges. And this is a guy everyone “respects” and looks up to? Gonzalez is the definition of a class act and one whose career should absolutely be celebrated. Much more than that of The Murderer.

  11. cmonelisha says: Jan 22, 2013 10:48 AM

    i felt bad for tony he didnt get to the superbowl..after giants lost i wanted peyton he lost then i wanted gonzalez now he lost.. lol i want boldin to get one and i want to say ray lewis but if i have to see his warrior speeches all offseason, then spare me.

  12. noring4youstill says: Jan 22, 2013 11:24 AM

    It won’t matter. We got our coach back and now will go back to dominating the south. You had your chance and still couldnt get it done. Be gone FalCants. Regular Season Champs.

  13. roddytorock84 says: Jan 22, 2013 12:25 PM

    Saint fans are high 24/7. Not to mention Ray theglovedoesntfit Lewis already has a ring. Tony deserves it more than anyone in the league.

  14. roadtrip3500 says: Jan 22, 2013 12:30 PM

    It speaks of poor planning that the Falcons are literally begging Tony Gonzalez to play again. They should have been grooming a young TE to replace him – what better TE coach could they have had than Tony himself to teach a young player how to perform like a Hall-of-Famer?

    Too many teams try to hang onto that legendary veteran player “one more year” instead of developing new talent – but when that player says “thanks, but I’m done”, the team is almost always caught short at that position for years.

  15. jwil007 says: Jan 22, 2013 12:31 PM

    There are some serious accusations on Ray Lewis guess he was the only guy to kill 2 men and there were other guys with him?? Sad.. I truly think if there was evidence of Ray Lewis it would have come out…Why didnt Oakley and Sweating ever come out and said “Ray’s your guy”? He never paid them off….and if he did that would have come out by now..Ray isnt the President…lol Maybe he really didnt do it but just had bad hanger ons…And he paid the families of both men killed…Isnt that what Stallworth did when he hit a guy?? He claimed his innocence paid the families give the guy a break pompous Americans who can do no wrong…

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