Tony Gonzalez retired after the 2013 season and the Atlanta Falcons officially released the future Hall of Fame tight end earlier this week as he was slow to file retirement papers because he was due a roster bonus this weekend.
The reason Gonzalez, who was hired by CBS for their NFL coverage, did not file the papers is because he is leaving the door open to a return to the NFL in 2014.
According to Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report that return could come to a team that is a contender, but the team he would most like to return to is the team that just released him.
“From a glance, it appears Tony Gonzalez and the Falcons had a bit of an ugly parting of the ways. But it might not work out that way at all. Here is the story: The contract Gonzalez signed last year included a $3 million roster bonus that was payable this weekend. The understanding was that Gonzalez would file retirement papers prior to the bonus being due. But Gonzalez did not do that, almost certainly because he wants to leave the door open for a potential return if a contender needs him at some point next season. So he forced the Falcons to release him to clear up cap space. Now Gonzalez will be free to sign with any team next year. But the team he might like to join most, according to those who know, is the one he just was cut by. If the Falcons are a contender, don’t rule out a Gonzalez return.”
Could Gonzalez be pulling a Brett Favre and retire to only come back and play right away? Stay tuned as this could be a story to follow when training camps open up this summer, especially if the Falcons don’t draft or sign an impact tight end.