GM to Tony Gonzalez: Don't retire
Yasinskas: Falcons want Gonzalez Back
It's significant that GM Thomas Dimitroff and the Falcons are making a hard pitch for Tony Gonzalez to stick around, Pat Yasinskas writes. Blog
NEW ORLEANS -- The retirement of Tony Gonzalez might not be as much of a done deal as the veteran tight end made it sound late in the season.
Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff admitted Thursday he is lobbying hard to convince Gonzalez to return.
"A guy who is 36 (years old) catching 100-plus balls (including the postseason), it just doesn't seem like it's time for him to move on," Dimitroff told ESPN.com while visiting the Super Bowl media center.
Gonzalez Set TE Standard
Tony Gonzalez has helped set a new standard for tight ends in his 16-year career. He ranks as the best tight end in a number of different statistical categories.
|Rec yards||14,268||10,060 (Sharpe)|
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
Dimitroff said he has conveyed that message to Gonzalez in very strong terms. Gonzalez said late in the season he was 95 percent sure he would retire. He even moved that figure up to 97 percent after the Falcons won a playoff game against Seattle. After losing the NFC Championship Game to San Francisco, Gonzalez said he still was leaning toward retirement.
Dimitroff made it clear the Falcons have made their pitch and everything now is up to Gonzalez.
"Tony's a man and he's got to make his own decision," Dimitroff said. "Suffice it to say that 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 said there is no firm timetable for a decision.
"We don't have a deadline at all," Dimitroff said. "But let's face it that it's important for us to know sooner rather than later because we have to move forward on all our decision-making."
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Peppers joins Packers on three-year deal
- Edelman agrees to re-sign with Patriots
- Jags WR Blackmon OK after single-car crash
- Browns agree to deal with ex-Texan RB Tate
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
SUPER BOWL XLVII COVERAGE
- Rawlings Atlanta Falcons Tailgater Junior-Size Football