One of the more interesting storylines of this offseason is the future of tight end Tony Gonzalez. After coming within a game of the Super Bowl for the first time in his NFL career, many began to speculate that Gonzalez would hang up the cleats and retire but everyone may have gotten a bit ahead of themselves in penciling in Gonzalez for retirement.
You can’t really blame anyone for preparing themselves for a Gonzo-less world, as it was Tony Gonzalez himself who said he was “97 percent” retired earlier this year. But he’s changing his tune, and according to USA Today, Gonzalez is expected to inform the Atlanta Falcons that he’s returning for one more season and will play for them in 2013.
This is where the story gets a little too TMZ for my taste, as USA Today cites a “person close to Gonzalez” as their source. That’s not to say this information is wrong, but word that he’ll officially be returning has yet to come out of Gonzalez’s mouth.
“There’s a pretty darn good chance that he comes back,” the person said. ”He’s been chasing that Super Bowl for a long time. If I was a betting man, I’d say he’d be on the side of trying to come back.”
However, even if the announcement isn’t yet coming directly from Gonzalez, the Falcons front office is taking the statements made as truth and are excited over the prospect of having Gonzalez back in 2013. Back when Gonzalez was contemplating returning for the 2013 season, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said he’d welcome the tight end back with open arms.
“Now we’re staring down the barrel potentially of a fifth season [with Gonzalez], which I’m just taking a year at a time, and I’m happy he’s even contemplating coming back to play,” Dimitrioff said.
If Gonzalez comes back, he’s not going to do it on the cheap. According to a Yahoo! Sports report, if he returns in 2013 Gonzalez will want a raise on the $3.9 million base salary he made in 2012 and will request a reduced training camp schedule.