It seems as if all the lobbying to get Tony Gonzalez to return for one more season may be paying off for the Falcons. I have posted below ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas story on the latest Tony Gonzalez retirement news.
I don’t think that part is anything new. I’ve had the feeling the Falcons have been thinking a Gonzalez return is likely since general manager Thomas Dimitroff told me a few days before the Super Bowl that the team was lobbying hard for the veteran to come back for one more season. I could tell just by listening to Dimitroff how serious he was about bringing Gonzalez back.
What is new in Silver’s report is that Gonzalez wants somewhere around $7 million for the season and to be able to sit out some or all of training camp. I don’t think the money is an issue. The Falcons have some cap room and can make that kind of contract fit.
Although some coaches might scoff at the idea of letting a player sit out most or all of training camp, Atlanta’s Mike Smith is a little more flexible than most. Training camps aren’t as long as they once were and Gonzalez already knows the offense and has great chemistry with quarterback Matt Ryan.