Last year at this time, Tony Gonzalez was 95-percent sure he wouldn’t return for another season. This year, he’s 100-percent sure he has no complaints about a final season that sees his Falcons chasing not a championship but the first pick in the draft.
“I can’t complain about anything,” Gonzalez said, via Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Obviously, the Super Bowl — I’m sure those questions are going to be asked a lot more as it gets closer to the end. But for me, why would I want to change anything?
“Of course I want to win a Super Bowl, but at the same time I’m very happy with what I’ve accomplished and the relationships I’ve made over the years. Everything happens for a reason, and hopefully it makes me a better person in the process.”
Unless Gonzalez plans to come back for yet another year, the proper term is “wanted” to win a Super Bowl. The Falcons became as of Monday night the first team to be officially eliminated from the playoffs.
And so Gonzalez has five games left in his career, unless he’s not really 100-percent sure he will retire. It sounds like he is.
“I’m never going to be able to put on these pads again,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a good, thing, too. It’s going to be sad, but at the same time, it’s going to be enlightening. It’s a whole new chapter waiting for me. I can say that I’m going to enjoy these last five weeks.”
After the next five years, Gonzalez will ride to Canton. Unless he decides after 17 NFL seasons to return for an 18th.