Posted by Josh Katzowitz
If a lockout wipes out the season – admittedly, a fairly slim possibility – we might have seen the last game played by one of the greatest tight ends in league history. Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez, who would enter 2011 in the last year of his contract, said if the NFL somehow didn’t play the season, he would probably retire.
"Would I sit out a whole season and come back — probably not, honestly," Gonzalez told Sporting News, via Fox Sports. “At this point, at my age, I don’t know if that would be smart of me to do something like that. But I’m enjoying the offseason, working out and preparing like I always do.”
While Gonzalez is coming off a solid year – or what most tight ends would consider a solid year – his 70 receptions was the fewest amount of passes he’d caught since 1998. He still is on the fringes of being a top-five TE in the league, but it’s clear he’s not the same player he was in his prime.
Which means the Falcons better start looking for some help at that position.
Gonzalez’s backup, Justin Peele, is 32 years old and not a long-term solution, but there might be some potential with Michael Palmer, who had career highs in catches (43), receiving yards (507) and touchdowns (four) last season.
Nevada’s Virgil Green – who had a wonderful NFL combine – could be a possibility in the NFL draft, or the Falcons could wait until the later rounds. Green is expected to work out with the Falcons at some point before the draft.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .