Tony Gonzalez hedges on planned retirement
Tony Gonzalez has been saying that he is highly likely to retire after the season, but the 36-year-old tight end is still allowing for the possibility that he could return next season.
The Atlanta Falcons blew a 17-0 lead and lost 28-24 to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. Gonzalez caught all 8 passes thrown his way for 78 yards and a touchdown. Anyone watching him could see that he is playing at an extremely high level.
In recent weeks, Gonzalez has said he is 95 to 97 percent certain to retire. Gonzalez remained consistent in saying that he is likely to retire, though he did not say those plans were definitive.
“It’s probably the last time I’m going to wear that uniform,” Gonzalez said, via the Falcons’ website. “I didn’t want to take it off, to tell you the truth. All good things come to an end and, like I said all season long, this is probably my last one. What an unbelievable ride.”
Gonzalez said “probably” because he is allowing himself the option to change his mind.
Denise White, who is the CEO of EAG Sports Management and has worked with Gonzalez for over a decade, said she felt he would be back.
Gonzalez indicated he would be OK with going out after the loss.
“I’ve been very blessed I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me,” Gonzalez said at his locker, according to NFL.com. “I’ve had a great ride, an unbelievable ride. … I have no regrets. Not one. And If there’s anyone out there, media or anyone, even think about saying that I’m going to have regrets, I’m telling you right now, that’s not the case, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Gonzalez turns 37 next month and just completed his 16th season in the NFL. He was third among tight ends in receiving yards (930), second in receptions (93), and fourth in touchdown catches (8). He still has plenty to offer the Falcons and, after finally winning a playoff game for the first time in his career, he may want to return.
Photo credit: Twitter/Bart Hubbuch