Maybe this wasn't Tony Gonzalez' last time on an NFL field after all. (Getty Images)
The story of Tony Gonzalez, future Hall of Famer and one of the best tight ends ever to play the game, was one of the hallmarks of the Atlanta Falcons' 2012 season. Gonzalez, who had never won a playoff game, helped the Falcons to reach the NFC Championship and come within five yards of a Super Bowl berth. And all season long, through question after question, he insisted that this was it, he was almost completely certain that he'd be done.
Now, that "almost completely certain" is widening to "not totally certain." Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff has said the odds of Gonzalez retiring have dropped from 95 percent to 50/50, and others on the team have pushed hard for one more year.
"I'm told virtually everyone in the Falcons' organization has been campaigning for Gonzalez to make one more Super Bowl run," ESPN's Ed Werder said. "And I'm told that he's beginning to waver. The people who have spoken to him seem to believe that they're making progress. In fact, one player close to Gonzalez told me 'I think, if the circumstances are right, that Tony Gonzalez will return.' "
Certainly, all the pieces are in place for Atlanta to make another run at a Super Bowl. Question is, does Gonzalez have it in him to go one more year? Gearing up for an entire season, including preseason workouts, is a months-long process; if Gonzalez has already mentally retired, starting back up could be a difficult process. He went out on almost the best possible terms; would he risk a subpar season as an encore?
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-
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