ATLANTA GA - JANUARY 15: Tony Gonzalez #88 of the Atlanta Falcons walks ooff the field dejected after they lost 48-21 against the Green Bay Packers during their 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Georgia Dome on January 15 2011 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Tony Gonzalez Could Retire If NFL Lockout Cancels 2011 Season

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Tony Gonzalez Could Retire If NFL Lockout Cancels 2011 Season

The NFL lockout has Tony Gonzalez thinking about retirement, not that he hasn’t been publicly pondering the end of his pro football career for months now anyway. As Troy Heinzman somehow predicted, a lockout could mean the end of Gonzalez’ time as Atlanta Falcons TE, according to a Sporting News interview of the future Pro Football Hall of Famer:

Would I sit out a whole season and come back — probably not, honestly. At this point, at my age, I don’t know if that would be smart of me to do something like that. But I’m enjoying the offseason, working out and preparing like I always do.

That would mean the team would end up dealing a No. 2 pick for only two seasons, which is about the worst personnel impact a lockout could have on the team. I’d still say it was worth it, based on the milestones the team probably wouldn’t have achieved without him and the culture of success he helped develop, but it would be highly unsatisfying to see him leave without accomplishing the goal he came here for.

Especially due to something as stupid as a lockout.

For more Falcons, visit The Falcoholic.

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Tony Gonzalez Not Retiring, According To Manager

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez will return for his 15th season, according to a tweet sent by Denise White. White is the CEO and founder of a sports management company that features Gonzalez on its client list. White:

As I ride with @TonyGonzalez88 to the Hawks game right now in Atlanta, I can assure you he will not be retiring this year.

If he’s healthy enough for Monday basketball, he’s healthy enough to play another season of football, am I right? This isn’t straight from Gonzalez, so it isn’t official by any means, but lingering retirement suspicions could hamper sales of Vega-Pro Science Diet Wheytein Mix during a critical supplement gifting month (doesn’t everybody postpone their fitness-related New Year’s resolutions until after the Super Bowl?), so it makes sense that the suits would seek to shush retirement whispers.

Gonzalez has been pondering retirement for at least a year now. He’s not the same player he used to be, and was injured late in the team’s playoff game against the Packers, but he’s still an extremely valuable piece of the Falcons offense.

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Tony Gonzalez Mulls Retirement After 14th Season

Another disappointing playoff loss has Atlanta Falcons' tight end, Tony Gonzalez, considering retirement after 14 seasons. Gonzalez, who spent 12 years with the Kansas City Chiefs before joining the Falcons in 2008, has pondered leaving the game before, once this preseason and again prior to the playoffs. Though Gonzalez's numbers declined for the third consecutive season, the soon-to-be 35-year-old is a valuable part of the Falcons offense and would leave the team with big shoes to fill at tight end should he choose to call it a career.

Gonzalez will be playing in his 11th Pro Bowl at the end of this month and holds a host of records including most catches (1,069), yards (12,463) and touchdowns (88) by a tight end all-time. He also holds the single-season record for most receptions in a season by a tight end with 102. Basically, he's the G.O.A.T. and the Falcons would struggle to replace his impact.

Physically, there's no reason Gonzalez couldn't return for a 15th season. He's avoided major injuries throughout his career and through his company, All-Pro Science, he's said he is as healthy as he's ever been. But he has plans after football is over and he's smart enough to know that it only takes one hit to make that all go away. If he does walk away, Thomas Dimitroff and company would need to fill the void to keep this team moving in the right direction.

For what it's worth, rookie Kerry Meier played some H-back in college and I wonder if he could be converted to tight end should Gonzalez ride off into the sunset.

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