Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez has had a brilliant 16-year career in the NFL, and when he retires he'll have a spot waiting for him in Canton. It's currently unclear, though, as to when Gonzalez plans to end his career. Until last weekend, Gonzalez had amazingly not been on a single team that has won a playoff game. Having one postseason win under his belt, according to one teammate, has made Gonzalez consider retiring after this season.
"He told me today he's moving up to 97-percent sure after that win last week," backup tight end Michael Palmer told USA TODAY Sports Thursday. "From what I can get from him, if we win the Super Bowl, I think he'll ride off into the sunset."
Gonzalez caught 93 passes for 930 yards and eight touchdowns in the 2012 season, which was second among tight ends behind the Cowboys' Jason Witten. Over his 16-year career, Gonzalez has caught 1,242 passes for 14,268 yards and 103 touchdowns. His 14,268 total career yards are the most of any tight end in the history of the league.
If winning a playoff game has boosted Gonzalez' chances of retirement to 97 percent, then winning a super bowl would likely put him at 100. However, Falcons running back Michael Turner has informed Gonzalez that if he wins a Super Bowl, he'll have to return for another season to defend his title.
"I told him if we win it, he has to defend it," running back Michael Turner said. "He's never been in that position before. That would be something new for him next (season). I just try to give him little challenges every year."