It’s beginning to look more and more like Tony Gonzalez will return to the Atlanta Falcons and play ball in 2013. After all, Gonzo got the the NFC Championship game with the Falcons last season which meant he did something he had never done before in his career: win a playoff game. But while he didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, some expected him to retire, especially with Gonzalez himself saying he was “97 percent” retired earlier this year.
But Mike Silver started the comeback tour ball rolling on Sunday when he reported Gonzalez was almost certainly going to return, and Peter King from SI.com shed some light on one of the motivating factors behind Gonzalez’s sudden change of heart: television.
We all know the best way for a player to retire is to do so into a cushy TV analyst job. From Dan Marino to Michael Strahan on down to Ray Lewis, the one thing most players want to do after they quit the game is to get paid to talk about it. King says it’s not the sole factor in his decision to return in 2013, but the fact that there weren’t any primo television analyst jobs available helped make the decision to return to the Falcons a little easier.
If tight end Tony Gonzalez is headed back to the Falcons — which Mike Silver reported is likely — one person close to the Falcons told me it’s at least in part because a golden network job hasn’t opened for Gonzalez.
- Peter King, SI.com
You can’t blame Gonzalez for trying though. ESPN jumped at Ray Lewis in half a minute, and the list of ex-NFLers who are now well paid analysts is long and plentiful. But if there’s one thing Gonzalez wants more than a TV job, it’s to retire the greatest tight end to have ever played in the NFL. Right now he’s basically got that title locked up as he’s headed to Canton once he retires.
But TV jobs come a lot easier when you have a shiny little Super Bowl ring on your finger, and Gonzalez knows that if he gets his hands on one of those, he’ll forever be untouchable beyond where he’s already at.