Tony Gonzalez says fans played role in 2013 return

USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons tight end thought 2012 would be his final NFL season, but eventually decided to come back for one more Super Bowl run.

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez was almost certain he would retire following the 2012 season, but he decided to come back for one more year in part because of the response from fans:

"It was a combination of my teammates, the front office, the coaches, the ownership and also the fans as well, seeing the stuff they did for me on Facebook and then my family," Gonzalez said. "I would have felt like the biggest jerk if I did say after all that, 'Hey, I want to retire.'"

Gonzalez said in an interview with Pro Football Talk Live that he is "100 percent" sure that 2013 will be his final season, though he did admit that he is tempted to try to pass Jerry Rice for first on the all-time receptions list. Doing so would take several more seasons -- Gonzalez is 307 receptions behind Rice.

Gonzalez finished the 2012 season with 93 receptions for 930 yards, his most productive year to date as a Falcon. The 16-year veteran has more than 14,000 career receiving yards, including four 1,000-yard seasons, and he's made 103 touchdown grabs.

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