After playing for 16 years in the NFL, Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is retiring from the game. While his teammates try to convince him to play another season, Gonzalez seems content on retiring from the game after becoming the greatest tight end to ever play the game.
In 2012, at the age of 36, Gonzalez played just like he did when he was a rookie back in 1997. He hasn’t lost a step and he still has great hands. He finished the season with 93 catches for 903 yards with eight touchdowns. While the Falcons have the skill receivers of Roddy White and Julio Jones on the outside, Gonzalez has been the security blanket for quarterback Matt Ryan for most of his early career. That threat over the middle was the perfect complement to those outside receivers and was a big part of the Falcons success since the 2009 season.
For his career, Gonzalez has 1,242 receptions and a total of 103 touchdowns. Outside of his rookie year, Gonzalez never had under 59 catches for a season and was one of the most reliable players the league has ever seen. In his 16-year career, the star tight end only missed one game, which was in 2006.
There was one thing that was eluding Gonzalez during his entire career and that was the taste of a playoff victory. That is until this season, when the Falcons won in the divisional round of the playoffs giving Gonzalez his first ever win. It was the last win he would ever be a part of, but one of the greatest sights of the season was seeing Gonzalez on the sideline, breaking down in tears after finally being able to say he and his team won a game in the playoffs.
Gonzalez was a class act on and off the field and if he does retire, he will surely be missed.