Buzz is building that Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is wavering about his plan to retire now that the season has ended. Right after the season it seemed all but done, but it seems the Falcons aren't ready to say goodbye. They are doing their best to convince Gonzalez to return, and NFL.com shared on Feb. 19 that their efforts might be making an impact.
Head coach Mike Smith has been talking with Gonzalez, and NFL.com reports that the team's general manager thinks Tony Gonzalez is wavering and might be closer to a 50 percent chance of retiring compared to a 95 percent chance right after the team's loss in the NFC championship game. Ed Werder of ESPN has been hearing similar talk, the site shares.
Many have expected Gonzalez will decide to come back for one more season, and he certainly seems to have quality play left in him. Players leaning toward retirement at the end of a long, tiring season are not unusual, and often a bit of rest and perspective will lead them to change course. As Sports Illustrated notes, Gonzalez has a lot of flexibility in his choices right now, but most believe if he plays next season, he will choose to re-sign with the Falcons. They certainly don't want to lose him, and he has a bit of time before he needs to get serious about a decision.
Had the Atlanta Falcons made it to the Super Bowl, it would have likely been a natural time for Gonzalez to retire. However, coming close to the glory and falling just a bit short may have been the fuel that leaves Tony Gonzalez wavering on moving forward with his retirement. It's clear the Falcons coaches and management are going to keep working on this one, and perhaps they will come up with the right enticement to convince him to give them one more season.