Tony Gonzalez, who said multiple times he was 95 percent sure he would retire after last season, showed that numbers don’t always tell the whole story Tuesday when he said he was returning to the Atlanta Falcons next season.
But I still trust numbers, especially when they come from ESPN Stats & Information. They’ve got a handy file on Gonzalez and all his numbers. So, on this day when Atlanta fans are celebrating, let’s take a look at some of the numbers on Gonzalez.
His 13 Pro Bowls are tied for the second most in history. Only Bruce Matthews (14) has been to more Pro Bowls.
Gonzalez is the all-time leader in receptions by a tight end with 1,242. Shannon Sharpe (815) is second.
Gonzalez is the all-time leader in receiving yards by a tight end with 14,268. Sharpe is second with 10,060.
Gonzalez is the all-time leader in receiving touchdowns by a tight end with 103. Antonio Gates is second with 83.
Gonzalez still played at a high level last season. He ranked second among tight ends with 93 receptions.
Gonzalez will get a chance to build on his lead for regular-season starts by an active player. He has 238 career starts. Tampa Bay’s Ronde Barber is second with 232.
Here’s a record Gonzalez, who turned 37 in February, should have no problem breaking. The only tight end to have at least 20 catches at age 37 or older was Wesley Walls with 20 catches in 2003.
We’ll close it out with an amazing stat. Gonzalez had 27 receptions with no drops on throws of 10 yards or more last season. Since joining the Falcons in 2009, Gonzalez has had only one drop on those throws while making 86 receptions.