GM: 'I believe Tony Gonzalez has retired'

February, 12, 2014
Feb 12
8:00
AM ET
Toward the end of last season, Tony Gonzalez said there was no chance he would be talked into playing one more year.

His tune recently changed, however, when his comments in an ESPN The Magazine feature written by Seth Wickersham surfaced. The tight end seemed to leave the door open to a late-season return in 2014 if the Atlanta Falcons were in position to make a Super Bowl run and called for his help.

"Maybe, if the team is hot in November, 9-2 or something, I could come back for the last two months," Gonzalez said in Wickersham’s piece.

I asked general manager Thomas Dimitroff if the team would leave a spot for Gonzalez if the Falcons were rolling and destined for a deep playoff run.

He seemed to dismiss such a scenario playing out with one simple statement.

"I believe Tony Gonzalez has retired and he’ll have a fantastic career in the media business," Dimitroff said.

Dimitroff has professed his admiration for Gonzalez numerous times, so his words can’t be misinterpreted as a knock on the future Hall of Famer. What it told me was Dimitroff is ready to move forward with the current roster and find a replacement for Gonzalez at tight end without having to deal with a Brett Favre-type back-and-forth thought process.

Plus, Gonzalez said he is looking into a handful of media opportunities. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him end up at Fox Sports, based on his strong relationship with reporter Jay Glazer. Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, a player I covered in Chicago, joined Fox partly based on his relationship with Glazer.

Vaughn McClure

ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter

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