Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff told reporters on Thursday that he has been “lobbying hard” to convince TE Tony Gonzalez to return for another season next year.
“A guy who is 36 catching 100-plus balls, it just doesn’t seem like it’s time for him to move on,” Dimitroff said, via ESPN.com. “It’s not going to be an easy decision for him one way or another because he knows that he still has fuel in the tank and it’s very legitimate fuel in the tank.”
Dimitroff added that there is no deadline for a decision and that the ball is essentially in Gonzalez’s court.
Gonzalez, 36, is without a doubt a first ballot Hall of Famer. He played so exceptionally well this season that it’s hard to imagine him walking away, considering that he’s still in the discussion for the best tight end in the NFL.
If he does in fact retire, the Falcons will have to find an immediate replacement. It’s a little surprising that they haven’t addressed the position in the last few years, but there are plenty of options available in both the draft and the free agent market.
We have Atlanta taking Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert in the first-round of our 2013 NFL Mock Draft.