Tony Gonzalez, without much question the greatest tight end in the history of football, is likely ready to walk off into the sunset.
After losing the NFC Championship Game to the San Francisco 49ers, 28-24, on Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons pro bowler reiterated that this was probably the last game he would ever play. Per Jay Adams blog:
“It’s probably the last time I’m going to wear that uniform,” Gonzalez said, choking up. “I didn’t want to take it off, to tell you the truth. All good things come to an end and, like I said all season long, this is probably my last one. What an unbelievable ride.”
If Gonzalez does indeed retire, he will leave behind the legacy of being a man who changed and redefined his position.
In the 16 years Gonzalez played in the NFL, he amassed 1,242 receptions, 14,268 yards and 103 touchdowns, all far and away records for a tight end.
Overall, Gonzalez ranks second all-time behind Jerry Rice in catches, seventh in yardage and sixth in touchdowns.
Gonzalez spent 11 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, losing more than not and playing most of his career in obscurity despite his personal greatness.
Incredibly, he only just won his first playoff game a week ago against the Seattle Seahawks, having lost in his previous six attempts.
Gonzalez may never have reached the Super Bowl, but he says not to worry about him. Per Jay Adams:
“I don’t want anybody out there to feel sorry for me,” said Gonzalez, who added that he probably won’t play in the Pro Bowl next Sunday, his 13th time being named to the team in his 16-year career. “I’ve had a great ride — an unbelievable ride. A great career, from the Falcons to the Chiefs, it’s been awesome. I have no regrets. Not one.”