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Gonzalez doesn’t rule out a 2014 return


In a new ESPN the Magazine article, retired (for now) Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez muses about a possible return for 2014.

“Maybe, if the team is hot in November, 9–2 or something, I could come back for the last two months,” Gonzalez said.

The article by Seth Wickersham then quickly creates the impression that Gonzalez decided not long after saying that to call it quits, based apparently on an incident during a game against the Packers.  Safety Morgan Burnett (who denies it) reportedly said, “F–k you!  You ain’t sh-t!” to Gonzalez, and no Falcons teammates intervened.

On Friday, Gonzalez didn’t rule out a bandwagon-type return to the Falcons in 2014, if it appears that the team is on track for a Super Bowl appearance.

During an appearance on CBS Sports Radio, host Doug Gottlieb presented a hypothetical:  the Falcons are 10-0, and they have yet to replace Gonzalez at tight end.

“Can I got back to the last couple of years when I used to say I’m 97-percent sure?” Gonzalez said.  “I’d probably take them up on that offer, especially if they’re 10-0.”

Yes, he was laughing.  But he could have laughed and said, “No.  No.  No.  I’m done.”

He didn’t.  Until he does, the door will still be slightly more than zero-percent open, even though he has said he’s 100 percent done.

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77 Responses to “Gonzalez doesn’t rule out a 2014 return”
  1. fifthinterception says: Feb 7, 2014 5:19 PM

    Brett Favre 2.0

  2. demolition510 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:23 PM

    If you’re gonna play. Play the whole season. None of this sign on in Nov crap. Earn it as a team. Now if your team does you a favor and trade you to a contender, you better be thankful to them.

  3. emoorm says: Feb 7, 2014 5:25 PM

    Brett Favre… part 2… (know when to step away from the table)

  4. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Feb 7, 2014 5:25 PM

    Keep playing until your arms fall off.

  5. taintedsaints2009 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:26 PM

    Favre 2.0

  6. tdubdizzle says: Feb 7, 2014 5:26 PM

    If I was Atlanta I wouldn’t bring him back. Heck, if you go 10-0 without him why take him back with his poor attitude.

  7. vols84 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:29 PM

    Kind of have a different perspective on Tony G after reports of this recent “diva” behavior coming from this ESPN the mag article. Have heard from those covered the chiefs that this all sounds about right and that Tony’s number one fan was….Tony.

  8. motown81 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:29 PM

    Maybe he could come back as a package deal with Brett Favre! Atlanta is where Favre started his career…

  9. fmc651 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:29 PM

    Tony is reaching Favre territory now.

  10. twonis says: Feb 7, 2014 5:30 PM

    He should go to Green Bay and confront his antagonist.

    And while he’s there he should try on a jersey…maybe catch a few balls from #12…just see how it feels, ya know?

  11. skiss68 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:30 PM

    Brett Favre 2.0

  12. catskinnerd11r says: Feb 7, 2014 5:31 PM

    He is like a boxer who has taken too many head shots, keeps saying he is retiring but keeps coming back.

  13. iceburgskin202 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:32 PM

    This seems so selfish in the ultimate team game to say I’ll come back if you guys are winning. Just retire this is worse than ol grey beard and at least Farve only routinely skipped preseason.

  14. lasredchris says: Feb 7, 2014 5:32 PM

    Why not just sign a one day contract with the Seahawks?

  15. imbetteratlifethanyou says: Feb 7, 2014 5:34 PM

    Would he go play for the vikings when they’re 2-10 in late Nov?

  16. orivar says: Feb 7, 2014 5:35 PM

    Go back to KC. Go baaaaaaack.

  17. canadianbucsfan says: Feb 7, 2014 5:36 PM

    Gonzalez is the new Farve

  18. texasbornlsufan says: Feb 7, 2014 5:36 PM

    If and a big IF the Falcons are 10-0 without him they could damn sure win the Super Bowl without him. Your were great in your day Tony so don’t FARVE us!!!!!!!!!!

  19. rectumdamnnearkilledem says: Feb 7, 2014 5:38 PM

    Is Tony Gonzalez trying to be the next Brett Favre ??

  20. bennyb82 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:38 PM

    If the Falcons are 10-0, they probably have found a suitable replacement at TE.

  21. bighex209 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:39 PM

    Man let him go or trade him he obviously doesnt want to give it his all and hes acting like hes to old trade him and quizz and get spmething for them so we can start hiving it to antone smith

  22. mathomp3 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:39 PM


  23. mathomp3 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:40 PM

    Sorry, Favre

  24. onebigredrocket says: Feb 7, 2014 5:42 PM

    Go. Away.

  25. apkyletexas says: Feb 7, 2014 5:42 PM

    I’m thinking Bill Romanowski said a lot worse to him when they were playing against each other every year and getting in fist fights.

  26. travelingwillies says: Feb 7, 2014 5:44 PM

    “Maybe, if the team is hot in November, 9–2 or something, I could come back for the last two months,”

    …..if Brett Favre said that he would be getting raked by the media.

  27. ratsfoiledagain says: Feb 7, 2014 5:44 PM

    Please don’t be like Deion and ride the coat tails of other teams just to get some bling.

  28. 4allintensivepurposes says: Feb 7, 2014 5:46 PM


  29. all4patriots says: Feb 7, 2014 5:50 PM

    Tell ATL you want to come to NE, Gonzo!

    A Gronk/Gonzo tandem?


  30. ottawabrave91 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:53 PM

    just come back to the chiefs to retire. there is hardly any media coverage. you won’t be bothered. just score touchdowns

  31. tallguyme says: Feb 7, 2014 5:53 PM

    Perfect fit for the Patriots.

  32. beavertonsteve says: Feb 7, 2014 5:53 PM

    Next year’s headline-

    Falcons start 10-0 but finish 10-6 following return of Gonzalez.

  33. chinahand11 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:55 PM

    So he wants to come in for the last few games of the season? Hmm. Someone might give him a sniff, who knows? He could be the Roger Clemens of the NFL.

  34. gammynomnom says: Feb 7, 2014 6:02 PM

    How noble of you to ride a hot team to the playoffs, Tony. Why not just see if the NFL will let you wait for the Super Bowl to sign with a team?

  35. 6ball says: Feb 7, 2014 6:12 PM

    “maybe if the team was 9-2 or something ”

    If the team is 9-2, the last thing they’ll need is a selfish… me, me, me…. type polluting their huddle.


  36. agape56 says: Feb 7, 2014 6:14 PM

    Part of the problem with Falcons poor season last year was that they gave Tony the summer off. No one in their right minds should have made such a call. I knew the Falcons desperate move backfire on them.

  37. justintuckrule says: Feb 7, 2014 6:15 PM

    The only way he can come back in that circumstance is if a good team with a good record unfortunately loses their TE. (i.e. say Pats are 11-3 and Gronk goes down). Then, he’d be welcomed into a locker room.

  38. woodrree7 says: Feb 7, 2014 6:30 PM

    Oh great! Bret Favre part 2.

  39. briang123 says: Feb 7, 2014 6:32 PM

    I hate the off-season. Months and months of stories like this. Next week it will be story after story about the Matt Cassel sweepstakes.

  40. afcdomination says: Feb 7, 2014 6:33 PM

    Tony, you would skip camp anyway, there are never 2 a days, there are all of less than 20 practices in the freaking season, and you want to just skip it all then jump bandwagon style on a contender and ride that to a super bowl?

    freaking lame. go earn it with the rest of the team

  41. ugadogs21 says: Feb 7, 2014 6:38 PM

    If the team is 10-0 w/o him why the heck would they call him back. Dance with who brought ya!

  42. pekkle007 says: Feb 7, 2014 6:40 PM

    Isn’t it obvious? The Patriots! They’re perennially good and have a huge Hernandez-sized hole to fill.

  43. bighex209 says: Feb 7, 2014 6:47 PM

    Trade him and quizz get some defense players give anyone smith a chance him and jackson beast and speed like seahawks lymch turbin beast and speed

  44. unitasftw says: Feb 7, 2014 6:51 PM

    You can’t spell Elite without Eli. Go to the giants. Superbowl 49: Giants 24 Patriots 23

  45. gohawks7 says: Feb 7, 2014 7:02 PM

    LOL. The Falcons? Super Bowl bound? With all the stellar defenses in NFC?? That is really funny.

  46. FinFan68 says: Feb 7, 2014 7:16 PM

    Falcons ought to be mad about that attitude. Win some games, sign him in November and then cut him the next day. That would subject him to a waiver claim by a delusional sub . 500 team that believes he will be the final piece

  47. bert1913 says: Feb 7, 2014 7:34 PM

    If the seahawks don’t sign zach miller, come to the seahawks win a championship then ride into the sunset

  48. footballcrazyguy says: Feb 7, 2014 7:41 PM

    It’s time Tony packed it in. He is starting to embarrass himself. If you want a Super Bowl ring that badly, go to the Pawn Stars shop in Vegas and buy one. That is as close as you are going to get.

  49. stirged says: Feb 7, 2014 7:46 PM

    justintuckrule says:
    Feb 7, 2014 6:15 PM
    The only way he can come back in that circumstance is if a good team with a good record unfortunately loses their TE. (i.e. say Pats are 11-3 and Gronk goes down). Then, he’d be welcomed into a locker room.


    No way Gronk gets to week 15 without going down…glass is fragile.

  50. phillysports1 says: Feb 7, 2014 8:10 PM

    Eagles .

  51. chargrz says: Feb 7, 2014 8:26 PM

    Falcons 10-0? Ha Ha Ha Ha.

  52. cl8n82 says: Feb 7, 2014 8:26 PM

    For all of you guys saying sign with Seattle, Kansas City, New England, Giants, ect…

    He can not. He is still under contract. He either retires or he is with the falcons. That is unless the Falcons cut or trade him to someone else.

    So your pipe dreams of him on your team next year can not and will not happen. Its ATL or at his home in Cali.

  53. samapoc says: Feb 7, 2014 8:41 PM

    Everyone in the NFC South rejoices.

  54. tigerlilac says: Feb 7, 2014 8:41 PM

    Atlanta should have traded him this year. It would have been easy to find willing buyers. I expect Atlanta, instead of taking what the market would pay, chose to dictate a price no one would pay and then pretended he wasn’t on the trading block. Given Belichick’s relationship with the Atlanta GM, the Patriots’ need at the position, and Brady’s ability to get the ball to the tight-end it should have happened.

  55. thebigwhitecat says: Feb 7, 2014 8:42 PM

    Call ESPN. They’ll find a spot for you.

  56. kenstabler says: Feb 7, 2014 8:44 PM

    Some people just don’t know when to quit. The guy is a total stud, but the Falcons are in decline. Not sure his gas tank has much left? Unless he can sign with the Seahawks I would call it a day.

    Great career, but time to hang up the cleats I think.

  57. dean112263 says: Feb 7, 2014 8:54 PM

    The comment by Morgan Burnett is pretty rich. What he said to Gonzalez he should have said to himself. He was a complete bust at safety after he got the big contract from Packers. (and I’m a Packer fan). I’d take Gonzalez in a second. He isn’t a Jimmy Graham at this point in time, but he is better than Packers current TE’s.

  58. tincansailor981 says: Feb 7, 2014 9:27 PM

    Brett Favre 2.0

  59. 12brichandfamous says: Feb 7, 2014 9:35 PM

    Why is everyone so angry at tony? He can still play. I agree the last six game wish is silly, but the premise was constructed by the reporter, NOT Tony!! He merely agreed that it would be a great deal. He knows it will not go down that way.

  60. sportsguy3434 says: Feb 7, 2014 9:41 PM

    You didn’t rule it out, but I think the Falcons will…

  61. thesteelskirt says: Feb 7, 2014 9:52 PM

    If you want the ring that bad Tony just buy one of the rings up for auction, instead of half stepping to a chance at the SB. After all these years I have to give Barry sanders credit for retiring and sticking to his beliefs.

  62. travelingwillies says: Feb 7, 2014 9:54 PM

    He is under contract with the falcons through 2014, so if he unretires, the falcons will own his rights

  63. hawksfan3737 says: Feb 7, 2014 10:09 PM

    Come to Seattle! Gonzalez, Harvin and someone like Emanuel Sanders would be unbelievable!

  64. nykfanwakemeupin2015 says: Feb 7, 2014 10:23 PM

    Its crazy to read so many people judge him for flip flopping on playing. Let the man do whatever makes him happy

  65. eagles512 says: Feb 7, 2014 10:30 PM

    Always came off a bit phony.

  66. whodey420 says: Feb 7, 2014 11:45 PM

    Mad respect for this guy! Like other’s have already
    stated though, if he turns into Favre 2.0 all that
    respect goes down the drain!

    Wouldn’t surprise me ONE BIT though if the NFL,
    particularly the NFL Network is playing puppet master in this case to create some drama for the off season!

  67. richkotitte says: Feb 8, 2014 5:46 AM

    Trade him to the Pats so he can play his last year or two with a hungry HOF QB!

  68. donmcg2012 says: Feb 8, 2014 7:08 AM

    Squeezing all the attention he can out of the media before he’s forgotten.

  69. roastbeefsandwich says: Feb 8, 2014 8:40 AM

    Well, didn’t he leave the Chiefs because they took his parking spot or something?

  70. schleusryn says: Feb 8, 2014 9:42 AM

    What a huge ego, my goodness.

  71. beerndrums says: Feb 8, 2014 10:08 AM

    So he’s retiring then cause the Falcons won’t be going to the SB

  72. voyager6 says: Feb 8, 2014 11:26 AM

    Wow, trying to out-Favre Bret Favre…. or the man who cried ‘Retirement’ one too many times and people quit listening.

  73. tonyc920 says: Feb 8, 2014 11:46 AM

    Right when you think the guy has exited the game with some class and dignity, for some reason he flips the switch and becomes a drama queen. Just shut up Gonzo and fade into retirement. We’ll see you again in 5 years in Canton. It’s sickening to see you go out this way.

  74. axespray says: Feb 8, 2014 12:33 PM

    Expect Mike Zimmerman to pick him up at the airport.

  75. doctorrustbelt says: Feb 8, 2014 3:03 PM

    I Told Ya that this insecure, self-obsessed hgh/steroid cheater would be back for another season after getting all the retirement attention.

    I TOLD YA.

  76. seenoland54 says: Feb 8, 2014 5:41 PM

    10-0? Why not just wait till the two minute warning of the Super Bowl? Atlanta fans are NOT going to miss that attitude.

  77. icar6 says: Feb 9, 2014 7:55 PM


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