Jan 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) reacts after losing the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Georgia Dome. The 49ers won 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Gonzalez Unretires and Decides to Play For the Atlanta Falcons in 2013

Today it was announced that “retired” tight end Tony Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons has had a change of heart. He’s not going to retire after all.

Tony Gonzalez and Brett Favre need to have a little chat, I think. On one side, Gonzalez is 37 now and will be for the 2013 season. That’s up there for a tight end, and Gonzalez is a model of durability over this career.

He has missed only one game.

However, at 37, he won’t be getting any better and usually when a player’s skills decline this late, when they go they go fast. Reminds me of Marvin Harrison…sorta “there” one season and gone the next in production. I really hope Tony won’t let that be the case.

It’s one thing to have a love for the game and wish to play, but I’m also hoping his career won’t turn out to be a fading star. He had the chance to go out like Barry Sanders did it…on his terms. The difference is that Sanders was tired of losing and didn’t see any hope for the future nor the end of his career and left the game when he had had enough.

Such is not the case with a very talented Atlanta Falcons offense. Julio Jones is a thousand-yard receiver and the team’s rock star. Fellow wideout Roddy White seems to get a hundred grabs a year and racks them up as “quietly” as anyone I’ve ever known. Much of that is due to the presence of Gonzalez as well as anyone and “Matty Ice” AKA quarterback Matt Ryan has certainly gotten the spotlight.

The only big change otherwise is that the team let go of RB Michael Turner, but his skills are declining so he was let go. Jacquizz Rodgers might see a bigger role, but he’s no feature back so they need some help there. That’s not something that should concern fans of the team, however, as it’s a buyer’s market for free agent running backs so the team should be able to get some help either there or via the April draft.

Whether Gonzalez can get nearly 1,000 yards again at age 37 now remains to be seen, but the news is certainly not welcome for defensive coordinators around the NFC South right now.

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