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NFL Atlanta Falcons

Will Signing Steven Jackson Persuade Tony Gonzalez to Return for Another Season?

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the 2012 season, Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said that he was 95 percent sure that he would retire at season’s end. After the heartbreaking loss in the NFC Championship Game, and being so close to the Super Bowl, Gonzalez was obviously crushed knowing that he probably put on a football uniform for the final time.

Despite what the future Hall of Fame tight end says, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff believes that Gonzalez’s chances of returning next season are 50/50. If Dimitroff wants to make those odds even better, then he should do what he can to get St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson in Atlanta.

The Falcons already have a loaded offensive passing game with quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, and Gonzalez.

Atlanta’s front office is expected to part ways with running back Michael Turner, whose career seems to be on a decline.

Although Jackson will be 30 years old at the start of the 2013 season, he’s still a very productive running back. Since becoming a full-time starter with the Rams in 2005, Jackson has rushed for over 1,000 yards every year. Along with the shifty Jacquizz Rodgers, the Falcons will have the perfect balance in the backfield, which will be much better than the Turner/Rodgers combination.

In the event that Jackson is signed and Gonzalez returns for one more year, the Falcons will once again be favorites to win the NFC South, and could possibly be the team to beat in the entire NFC.

Seeing that the addition of Jackson can potentially make this team better than it was in 2012, I can see Gonzalez giving a 17th season a chance. So if Jackson becomes a Falcon, don’t be surprised to see Gonzalez back in the ATL.

Clyde A. Speller  is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google