Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez has a place reserved for him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame five years after he decides to retire. Many around the league thought that he would hang up the cleats after the 2012 season, but he has returned for another season. Fans of the Falcons and Gonzalez have his son to thank for his return in 2013.
Gonzalez made the rounds on national media on Wednesday and granted an interview to his hometown paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. When asked if 2013 would be his final season, Gonzalez did not hesitate to say yes.
“Without a doubt, yes. Without question. Last year was just such a wonderful year and I told everybody I was going to retire last year, and I really meant that when I was saying that last year. But this offseason after obviously we had that heartbreaking loss in the NFC Championship Game, when I went home I was able to talk to my family and my close circle, specifically my son Nikko – he was the reason I was going to retire anyway. He lives out in Los Angeles with his mom and doesn’t live with me during the season, so I wanted to spend more time with him. He said, ‘Dad, you guys have a great team, I think you should go out there and try it one more time.’ After he said that with everything else that fell into place with the type of team that we’re going to have, with the coaching staff, with the fans out there in Atlanta, it was kind of a no-brainer after that.”
Gonzalez recorded 93 receptions for Atlanta last season which accounted for 930 yards and eight scores. 2012 was the fifth time in his storied 17 year career that he recorded 90 or more receptions. In that time, Gonzalez has missed just one game. 2012 saw Gonzalez win his first career playoff game.