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Gonzalez forced Falcons’ hand by not filing retirement papers

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

So why did the Falcons feel compelled to cut retired tight end Tony Gonzalez on Tuesday?

Per a league source, Gonzalez was due to receive a substantial bonus if on the roster as of Thursday. The Falcons had assumed that Gonzalez would file retirement papers, which would eliminate the bonus.

The only problem? Gonzalez hasn’t filed his retirement papers.

And possibly all that that implies.

It forced the team’s hand. And it now gives Gonzalez maximum flexibility for 2014, in the event he decides to pull a Brett Favre and return. He won’t have to clear waivers, he won’t have to force a trade.

Even if he doesn’t intend to come back, it makes sense that he has put himself in position where he has the widest possible range of options for the coming season.

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59 Responses to “Gonzalez forced Falcons’ hand by not filing retirement papers”
  1. Six Rings says: Mar 11, 2014 6:21 PM

    Heath Miller > Tony Gonzalaz

  2. bbourne0 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:22 PM

    What a blank.

  3. phukurmouf says: Mar 11, 2014 6:22 PM

    Cue all the viking rubes claiming hes coming to minnesota like they do with everyone else!

  4. fumblenuts says: Mar 11, 2014 6:23 PM

    Welcome to the Seahawks Tony!

  5. robrocker1959 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:23 PM

    Hmmmm, you just forgot huh? Great team player Gonzo!

  6. hawkfan72 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:23 PM

    Smart of him. Now he can sign with a contender later on if there’s an injury to their TE.

  7. bayareacolt says: Mar 11, 2014 6:23 PM

    Lol…

  8. calibear831 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:23 PM

    Sneaky, sneaky guy!

  9. thevza says: Mar 11, 2014 6:25 PM

    Something fishy here…. like trying to latch onto a championship-contender fishy.

  10. thebirdofprey2 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:26 PM

    Tony Gonzalez really did some damage to his reputation these last few years.

  11. seang12334 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:26 PM

    retire before you become a training camp cut Tony…

  12. chc4 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:27 PM

    What an a-hole move by Gonzalez. He’s not showing himself to be the squeaky clean guy the media has made him out to be.

  13. ez4u2sa says: Mar 11, 2014 6:27 PM

    “Hello Mr. Belichick. My name is Tony Gonzalez. Could you use an experienced tight end to play with Mr. Gronkowski. I’m anxious to play for a winning team before I retire. Please call.”

  14. elmerbrownelmerbrown says: Mar 11, 2014 6:27 PM

    Sticking it to the man,,,,I like it !

  15. infectorman says: Mar 11, 2014 6:27 PM

    Come to New England and play with a truly Elite QB and THE MODEL Franchise in the NFL

  16. misterdreamer119 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:29 PM

    They shoulda traded him to the chiefs.

  17. thevikesarebest says: Mar 11, 2014 6:29 PM

    Haha failcons.i bet u wish you had the best recieving TE like we have in Kyle Rudolph.SKOL

  18. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 11, 2014 6:29 PM

    Sure would be cool to cap off that career with a SB victory, he should be on the phone calling his favorite teams right now and telling them about his newfound energy and drive.

  19. eugenesaxe1 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:30 PM

    Smart man, smart move.

  20. redandgoldhitman52 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:32 PM

    so many people hating on a legend and future HOF

  21. magicmtndan says: Mar 11, 2014 6:32 PM

    This year Gonzalez will be the first player-reporter in the NFL. He’ll be miked up directly to the broadcast booth so he can give commentary after he makes a block err catch.

  22. mkbane says: Mar 11, 2014 6:32 PM

    What is wrong with Tony doing this? If he wants to play, he wants to be with a contender. When teams have leverage to compel players to play for deals they want (contract not up, franchise tag, etc) they will use it. In this case Gonzalez had leverage to direct his career how he wanted. There’s nothing wrong with doing this, not like the team is out anything. He was never going to play with them anyway.

  23. ninerfan94954 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:35 PM

    Sneaky, sneaky guy how about sharp agent?

  24. chipper41 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:36 PM

    falcons should have negotiated a “retirement bonus” that was less than the roster bonus

    tony did what was best for tony just like teams do whats best for the team

  25. weepingjebus says: Mar 11, 2014 6:36 PM

    I could see the Broncos picking him up, Manning will need some fresh faces to blame at the end of next season.

  26. fairlybalanced1 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:37 PM

    If I were Tony, I would wait till Week 10 to pick my team. This is definitely about signing with a contender and Not so much about trying to get the bonus

  27. rajbais says: Mar 11, 2014 6:38 PM

    He can always go to a real contender.

    Will atlanta go back? That’s what we’ll have to see.

  28. alskdh says: Mar 11, 2014 6:40 PM

    Pats

  29. dorn09 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:42 PM

    He asked Elvis Dummerville to fax them in for him.

  30. sportsnut101 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:46 PM

    Hes not giving up tv deal cbs money

  31. reporterofthetruth says: Mar 11, 2014 6:47 PM

    TG isn’t dumb. He knows playing in Atlanta he has zero chance at a Lombardi.

  32. jacobk621 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:53 PM

    He will sign with the pats in week 10 ,, bank it !!!!!

  33. elliottcovert says: Mar 11, 2014 6:53 PM

    Tony Gonzalez’s recent moves have caused me to rethink my squeaky clean perception of him.

  34. nflgiant says: Mar 11, 2014 6:54 PM

    ok

  35. pftstory says: Mar 11, 2014 6:58 PM

    His claim is he will only play for the Falcons and allowed the hypothetical if the team was solid for the playoffs at week 10, would he consider coming back for the stretch run if asked.

    This allows for that. And it allows for it relatively quietly. He is off the Falcons books, and can remain off until week 10 if the hypothetical comes to pass.

    So the true test is does he get seriously linked to any other team. As it stands it does seem he and the team could have this agreement (I’ll play for no one else). But it also stands to reason, the Falcons are fine to move on without his salary and spend it elsewhere while he goes to another team.
    For 16 of 17 years teams have playoff games without him. It can be done.

  36. gohawks7 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:12 PM

    A lot of people are saying Seattle should go after Gonzo. I would rather see Seattle give Luke Willson a real shot at #1 with a lot of targets.

    The guy is a beast. 6’5″ 250. He averaged only .5 per rec less than Graham (13.6 vs 14.1) but had a 70% rec rate….vs Graham’s 60%.

  37. purplepanteez says: Mar 11, 2014 7:12 PM

    Tony – You got no rings. Neither do my Vikings. A match made in heaven!

    We love free agents… especially receivers!

    Come play with us and help us continue our streak of being less than #1…

  38. ilovefoolsball says: Mar 11, 2014 7:15 PM

    I don’t blame him for a second. The Falcons robbed him of any chance at a championship for all of the years he played with them.
    I guess you could blame him for actually thinking the Falcons would get to the Superbowl but still…

    They killed a legend.

  39. BED MAN OKC says: Mar 11, 2014 7:15 PM

    As a Chiefs fan, let me tell you how grateful we are that Herm Edwards came in here (best 3rd round pick we ever used and it was on a coach) and turned around this franchise and its winning way under Vermiel.
    We will never forget what magic that Herm was able to pull off. We’re so grateful that Herm kept the irreplaceable Larry Johnson and got rid of Jarred Allen and Tony Gonzolez when they were clearly washed up.

    Heres to Herm !

    Love, Chiefs fans.

  40. 1rockyracoon says: Mar 11, 2014 7:20 PM

    Why would he file retirement papers if there’s a 50/50 chance he will play this season? He has no desire to go through OTAs and training camp. Can’t blame him for that. He has enough left to help a team. Now he can see if there’s a good enough situation to play one more season.

  41. froray53 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:24 PM

    The media always makes these claims of players not filing retirement papers however if you talk to players there are no papers to file. Where do these supposed papers go? To the team? To the league? To the press so they stop making these claims?

  42. TheWizard says: Mar 11, 2014 7:29 PM

    His next contract will certainly be worth more than his word.

  43. kenny2neworleans says: Mar 11, 2014 7:31 PM

    Retaliation for them not trading him
    Last year!!!

  44. nflrule says: Mar 11, 2014 7:32 PM

    Gonzalez is all about Gonzalez.Since when has a TE ever made a difference in any teams Super Bowl run.LOL.

  45. daaabears says: Mar 11, 2014 7:37 PM

    lol.

    next stop…politics

  46. jtylert says: Mar 11, 2014 7:41 PM

    I dig it. The falcons did him a disservice not sending him off to KC or Seattle last year when their season was totally shot.

    Would’ve been good to see him stick Atlanta for a little Doug before leaving.

    Happy retirement, Tony.

    Or welcome to Seattle. Your choice.

  47. mogogo1 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:44 PM

    Savvy move. And I don’t get where the animosity comes from towards him for doing it.

  48. drs76109 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:51 PM

    Wonder what CBS thinks? Bet he does even make the first pre game show.

  49. glenno08 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:52 PM

    Wah Wah Wah …… This is a smart move Mr. Gonzo. That is called good biz. All you hypocrites would do the same thing if presented the opportunity.

  50. bigbamboom1 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:53 PM

    Only 5 possibilities here. And they all know it and are interested. Patriots; Seahawks; 49ers; Panthers; Chiefs (sentimental reasons). All are legit SB contenders. I’d bet it’s really between Patriots or 49ers if he can avoid most of training camp.

  51. chargrz says: Mar 11, 2014 7:53 PM

    Payback for him to Falcons for the way they handled this season in regard to a possible trade mid-season to a contender. They were stupid to make him play whole season for a team that had zero chance of making post season. I hope he signs with a winner and Atlanta gets nothing as they could have got a draft pick .

  52. taintedsaints2009 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:57 PM

    you know, he should go to the vikings

  53. fissilemissile says: Mar 11, 2014 7:59 PM

    I don’t mind if he came to the Hawks. He wouldn’t be the starter… I don’t think he’ll start anywhere he goes, but a mentor? He’s the best TE mentor in the league. We could use one for our young guys.

  54. bert1913 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:59 PM

    bye bye zach miller, welcome tony gonzalez

  55. gpete1962 says: Mar 11, 2014 8:12 PM

    Eli’s calling Baby!!!!!! TG in Big Blue

  56. mrlaloosh says: Mar 11, 2014 10:40 PM

    It’s all about Tony. He’d play for anybody that has a chance at a ring. Pretty soon he’ll be on his rascal trying to run pass routes.

  57. johnnyjagfan says: Mar 11, 2014 11:11 PM

    For a very classy guy this was an uncharacteristic move. Did he really expect the Falcons to pay him millions of dollars even though he’s going to be talking about football on TV next year?

  58. seenoland54 says: Mar 12, 2014 6:06 AM

    A contender is not going to pick up Tony. They see he’s out for himself, not the team and more important, they watch the tapes. His best days are way behind him, backs covered him pretty easy last year and the throws he got were because Ryan was having to constantly chunk it all season. Go back and watch the games, he isn’t contender material anymore.

  59. gammynomnom says: Mar 12, 2014 10:11 AM

    LOL, THERE IS NO ONE ON HERE WHO WOULD HAVE FILED THOSE PAPERS KNOWING HE WOULD GET A BIG MONEY BONUS IF HE WERE ON THE ROSTER. DON
    T EVEN ACT LIKE YOU WOULD.

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