The most productive tight end in NFL history might not be ready to hang up the cleats just yet.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, who said in April that he was 100 percent ready to retire after the 2013 season, hinted at a possible comeback next season.
“Maybe, if the team is hot in November, 9-2 or something, I could come back for the last two months,” Gonzalez said during a dinner with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, according to Seth Wickersham’s feature on the tight end for ESPN The Magazine.
Gonzalez was drafted No. 13 overall in the 1997 NFL draft. The 37-year-old has 1,325 career receptions for 15,127 yards and 111 touchdowns in 17 seasons. He earned 14 Pro Bowl and 10 All-Pro selections. Gonzalez holds most tight end records, but his first playoff win came last season with the Falcons.
Gonzalez also expressed a desire to be traded by the Falcons during the 2013 season, in which Atlanta went 4-12, though he didn’t make his demands public. The New England Patriots could have used a veteran tight end to fill in for Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.
Gonzalez went out on top; he had 83 catches for 859 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013. He signed a two-year deal with the Falcons in March 2013, so Atlanta would hold his rights if he decided to return to the gridiron.