tony gonzalez february 2014

It's been an interesting week for Tony Gonzalez, who may or may not be set on retiring from the NFL. Could he be turning into the next Brett Favre regarding retirement? Based off his recent actions, it seems that the former (or current, who knows?) Atlanta Falcons tight end isn't set on walking away from football

Gonzalez, 38, put up some stellar Pro Bowl numbers last season (83 catches, 859 yards, eight touchdowns) with the 4-12 Falcons. Despite that, he revealed to ESPN the Magazine that he wished Atlanta traded him to an NFL championship contender like his former Kansas City Chiefs. It never happened.

It wasn't the only thing Gonzalez did as he also critiqued quarterback Matt Ryan, saying that he isn't elite but he's close. Those comments may not brush off well with Atlanta or his teammates based off what he told ESPN, so it would seem awkward if he were to ever return to the team's locker room.

But then again, who knows? Gonzalez also mentioned in that article that he wouldn't mind returning in the 2014-15 NFL season if Atlanta — or possibly some other NFL team — was hot at a record like 9-2 late in the year. It just shows how much he wants to win a ring.

I can see why it's so hard for Gonzalez to walk away from the game. He's arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history, ranking behind only the great Jerry Rice in career receptions with 1,325. Tony G also has 15,127 career receiving yards along with 111 touchdowns.

And like I said before, the numbers he put up last year makes a case that this guy could play until he is 40. And with such stellar production for nearly two decades, Gonzalez's major flaw is that he was never able to experience true playoff success.

There was never any chance of him going to the Super Bowl when he was on the Chiefs. The Falcons gave him that opportunity in the 2012 NFL season. With Atlanta, Gonzalez was able to win his first ever game in the playoffs, but lost in the next round to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game.

After coming so close, it must have been a complete buzzkill to go through what Gonzalez had to this past season. It is very similar to Brett Favre, who was closing on making it to this third ever Super Bowl, but it ended in a loss to the underdog New York Giants in the 2007 NFC title game.

Favre ended up retiring with the Green Bay Packers, but he was never ready to leave the game. Favre eventually joined the New York Jets in a forgettable season and then jumped on the ship with the Minnesota Vikings, leading the purple to the 2009 NFC Championship game against the New Orleans Saints.

It was another chance for Favre to get to his third Super Bowl appearance, but it ended in another heartbreak with a game-ending interception to Tracy Porter. Favre ended up playing another season with the Vikes, which ended miserably after he dealt with injuries, throwing picks and his sexting scandal.

Favre ended up walking away on pretty bad terms, which is something Gonzalez must avoid if he were to continue playing.

There are many NFL players who have walked away without a ring. Future Hall of Famers like LaDainian Tomlinson, Brian Dawkins and others did so, and came to terms with it. In fact, Dawkins was one of the first to mention that Gonzalez wasn't ready to walk away after analyzing his comments on ESPN this week.

Right now, Gonzalez is staying on the notion that he is no longer an NFL player.

But when training camp rolls by, don't be surprised to see some NFL teams calling for the Gonzo, just like how it was for Favre a few years ago.


Low price, available in multiple styles and colors!