The Atlanta Falcons are holding out hope that all-pro tight end Tony Gonzalez decides to come back to the NFL.
Jan 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) reacts after losing the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Georgia Dome. The 49ers won 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
After last year’s disappointing loss (depending on your perspective) to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game, Gonzalez said he was “95 percent sure” that he would hang up his cleats.
Sources close to him however, believe that two things might be able to bring back the second-leading receiver in NFL history.
"“He will come back if they pay him $7 million and he doesn’t have to do training camp,” said one Falcons player familiar with Gonzalez’s thinking. (Michael Silver, Yahoo Sports)"
The Falcons have recently cleared cap space and would love nothing more than having Gonzalez back in the red-and-black. Missing training camp would not be a big deal for him either as Gonzalez keeps himself in good shape and is very familiar with the rhythm of the Falcons offense.
Technically, Gonzalez is a free agent and able to sign to any team that gives him a large contract. Sources close to him indicate that his preference would be for the Atlanta Falcons.
"“The money is there,” a source close to Gonzalez said. “Working out the days he can miss is the biggest holdup.”"
Gonzalez is in the rare position of being a productive tight end, over the age of 30, and literally being able to make his own schedule. We will have to wait and see if Gonzalez is truly back for another year. Maybe that is just the way he likes it.