Tony Gonzalez is a guaranteed Hall of Fame tight end, arguably the best to ever play the game at his position. In some NFL news that might disappoint the Atlanta Falcons faithful, Gonzalez announced that 2013 will be the final year he plays in the NFL.
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Before this Gonzalez announcement, the tight end was considering retiring anyway but Atlanta reached out to him and convinced him to come back for one more try. The Falcons were very close to making it to the Super Bowl in the 2012 NFL season, and feel that they have a good chance of making it there this season. However, if they don't, this will be their last chance with Gonzalez on the team.
Not only did the AllPro tight end say this was it, he said it was "without a doubt" the final season he will play. Even at his advanced age, he still played at the top of the tight end class in 2012, catching 93 passes for 930 yards and eight touchdowns. While Gonzalez looks ageless, he might be ready to go out on top.
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That is a great idea and a perfect way to let his reputation remain unscathed. Players like Barry Sanders and John Elway left while still playing their best ball, Elway after winning a Super Bowl. To this day, they are remembered as being the best in the game. However, players like Brett Favre hung on too long, and while still considered one of the best quarterbacks of all time, his final years in Minnesota and New York remain forgettable. If Gonzalez plays well this season, and then truly does retire, he will never have to worry about that stigma.
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This NFL news is sad considering the fact that this will be the last year fans can watch Tony Gonzalez in action, but that also means they know ahead of time not to take him for granted in 2013. There isn't another tight end like him in the game.