He's not 'Gonzo' after all

March, 12, 2013
3/12/13
1:15
PM ET

In perhaps the biggest non-surprise of the offseason, tight end Tony Gonzalez reportedly has informed the Atlanta Falcons he wants to return for (at least) one more season.

You could see that one coming from a mile away. Actually, I saw it coming since Jan. 31. That’s the day general manager Thomas Dimitroff told me the Falcons were lobbying Gonzalez hard. As I looked in Dimitroff’s eyes and listened to him, I could tell he was very serious and very confident.

Gonzalez, who was saying at the end of the season that he was 95 percent sure he would retire, just needed a little prodding.

There still are some details to be worked out, like a contract, a salary and how much Gonzalez will take part in training camp. Although this will limit what the Falcons can do in free agency, it’s a huge victory for Atlanta.

The Falcons don’t suddenly have to change their entire offensive scheme. Gonzalez is a huge part of the passing game and there’s not a tight end out there who could immediately come in and do the same things he does. Maybe the Falcons draft an eventual replacement for Gonzalez this year.

But the Falcons, who came within 10 yards of the Super Bowl, are all about the present (not the future) right now. And all indications are Gonzalez will be part of that present, for at least one more season.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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