Momentum builds for a Gonzalez return

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Last week, Falcons G.M. Thomas Dimitroff helped Pro Football Talk create a little news by telling the NBCSN show that he believes there’s a 50-50 chance tight end Tony Gonzalez will return.

That’s a major drop in Gonzalez’s assessment that his retirement is 95-percent certain.

And the number could be going even lower.  Ed Werder of ESPN quotes an unnamed player close to Gonzalez as saying, “I think if the circumstances are right, Tony will come back.”

It’s hard to know what it will take for the “circumstances” to be right, unless that’s code for the contract the Falcons will offer.

Gonzalez is still playing at an elite level, but his base salary for 2012 was only $3.9 million.  It may be that his ultimate decision will be driven by how much the Falcons will pay him to play one more year.

And if money really is an issue, things could get very interesting if Gonzalez doesn’t re-sign by March 9, at which time other teams could start making him offers.

He’s never been a free agent in 17 NFL seasons.  This could be the future Hall of Famer’s opportunity to walk off into the sunset not necessarily with a silver trophy, but definitely with a giant pot of gold.

35 responses to “Momentum builds for a Gonzalez return

  1. Money is going to be a driving factor, but I think it’s more going to be about him getting up for an offseason of work. Most players (especially a guy like Gonzalez) love playing the game on Sundays. It’s the daily offseason grind to get yourself into elite shape that drives guys like this away. He’ll get a hefty sum of money wherever he would go. What’s going to be the ultimate factor I think is if he feels he can dedicate himself to his offseason workouts to be in peak physical condition come the regular season.

  2. ATL should be an their hands and knees begging cause everyone knows what it will be like for Matty if he doesn’t have that safety blanket TE… From Matty Ice to Matty Mouse..

  3. Matty Light should kiss the ground Gonzalez walks on for playing for $3.9 for last year. Everytime Matt was in a pickle..Gonzalez bailed him out…Try $7 million Tony…you deserve it…No home town discounts when the Falsons will be watching the 49ers and Seahawks playing in the playooffs for years to come while the Falcons will be eating popcorn in their couches if Tony Gonzalez doesn’t come back.

  4. I don’t think Tony will be lured away just by a fat contract.

    However, if a team that’s close to a championship like Denver, Houston, Seattle, SF, Green Bay offered him a decent deal PLUS a chance at a ring, then I think he’d consider it.

  5. Who cares..I hate when players say their done then waffle the whole off season..Gonzalez is the best TE ever but unfortunately he’s gona be another HOFer with no ring.

  6. Gonzalez should stick to his guns on this one. Go out while you are still healthy, he’s one hit away from having a badddd retirement. Hope his wife persuades him to call it a day instead of getting greedy. He’s gonna wish he had left on his own terms. There are more important things in life other than winning championships, like family. Besides, the Falcons aren’t going anywhere, really.

  7. Why do you keep saying the part at the end there? He’s already said he will only play for the Falcons, or not come back at all. Stop trying to fuel a nonexistent fire.

  8. I wish he would play one more season, he might be my favorite all-time TE, even as a Raider/Redskin fan. He is definitely still good and a top 10 TE (if not top 5).

  9. Falcons season ticket holder here. I must honestly say I’m tired of Tony G and his every season I might retire talk. Dude just retire on top. If you’re 95% retired, then your heart can’t be totally into it. The Falcons are nowhere near a lock for the super bowl with a way tougher schedule this year and losing to each team in the division who well only be stronger, especially perennial top dog New Orleans. suppose you don’t even win a playoff game next season? Then what?

  10. You say Tony might come back for more money. How much has he earned over the course of his career, and isn’t that enough, to get out in one piece. I say he earned every dime unlike a lot of players.

  11. There’s no way he plays for another team unless they give him an offer so rich he can’t refuse, which won’t happen. It’s either he retires or comes back and play with the Falcons (only).

    BTW…I knew this would happen with Gonzalez. It happens everytime a player late in their career ALMOST makes the SB but falls short. He’ll come back.

    The same would’ve happened to Lewis as well if the Ravens didn’t win it all. I bet he would’ve came back for “one last run”.

  12. He’s gotta realize that if Atl can’t get to a SB while hosting the NFCCG against a team led by essentially a rookie QB, it’s never happening.

    Too bad the NYG couldn’t make it happen when TG wanted to be traded there in his last days with KC. Now’s a good a time as any. Put him on a 2x SB winner and he just might finally get his chance. Heck with that moribund NFC South. What a snoozer of a division.

  13. I always think its interesting how many comments on articles about a player’s retirement are of the “just make a decision and leave me alone!” variety. How difficult is the concept of “if the headline of an article doesn’t interest you, don’t click the link”? You know, the reason stuff like this gains so much traction and gets reported on with such frequency is because people are clicking the links.

  14. I’m not sure why it’s a guarantee that he wants to come back to Atlanta.

    When Tony was on the block at the deadline in 2008, he wanted to go to Green Bay and did not want to go to Atlanta who also had made an offer. Basically there was a done deal, and then Carl Peterson tried to up the ante right at the deadline, and the deal fell through.

    Honestly I’d dump Finley in the last year of his contract for one year with Gonzales. I don’t hate Finley as much as the average Packer fan, but I think Tony is more reliable at moving the sticks which is what the Packers need.

  15. Here is the problem: Atlanta is good but not great. I don’t think they will reach the SB – honestly Seattle will beat them next year in a rematch. So while money may not be a consideration – I think the ring is.
    I think’t the best spots for him next year are
    1. Denver
    2. Seattle

    HOF’er regardless!

  16. Without his clutch catch against Seattle, Atlanta does’t make the champ game. Its obvious that Atlanta needs more defense to make them a favorite this coming year – so if he wants too much money, he will risk Atlanta not being able to better their D.

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