Just a few weeks ago, future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez was “at peace” with his decision to retire after 17 seasons in the NFL. Now all of a sudden he sounds like a guy who might want to come back in 2014.
On Friday, Gonzalez told ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb that he would be open to returning to the Atlanta Falcons in 2014 if they opened with a 10-0 record. Obviously Gonzalez was kidding around but it’s pretty clear he hasn’t completely given up on the idea of chasing a Super Bowl ring.
On Thursday, Gonzalez said on NFL Live that he might be open to signing with a contender for the “stretch run” in 2014. That doesn’t sound like a guy who has completely shut out the possibility of ever returning to the game.
In 2013 Gonzalez looked like a guy who could play a few more seasons. He’ll turn 38 at the end of February, but he still caught 83 passes for 859 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
Given the problems a team like the New England Patriots have had at the tight end position, why wouldn’t they make a run at a guy like Gonzalez? At the very least he could provide some stability at that spot for a time.
Gonzalez is considered by many to be the greatest tight end of all-time. He is currently second on the all-time receptions list (behind only Jerry Rice) with 1,325 catches. He also ranks fifth in receiving yards (15,127) and sixth in touchdown receptions (111). All of those numbers are the top marks for tight ends by a long way.
Given his statements this week, I’d be surprised if we don’t hear chatter about him potentially returning as training camp gets closer.