The best tight end to play the game took his last snap Sunday, when the Atlanta Falcons and Tony Gonzalez lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. Gonzalez had announced before the season that there was a "95-percent chance" this would be his last.
“It's probably the last time I'm going to wear that uniform,” Gonzalez said after the game. “I didn't want to take it off, to tell you the truth. All good things come to an end and, like I said all season long, this is probably my last one. What an unbelievable ride.”
But the door isn't completely shut. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said Monday that he thought Gonzalez, 36, would be back for a 17th season.
“I think he's coming back,” Weatherspoon said -- with a hearty laugh. “I think if we had a bad year, he wouldn't come back. But we had a great year, so I think we are right there.”
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Coach Mike Smith is similarly hopeful, although he noted Monday that Gonzalez's mind hasn't changed throughout the season.
"I'm hoping for the five percent," Smith said. "Tony handled this very well all season long. He spoke at the beginning of the season and said this is where my head is, and I don't think he's deviated from that.”
Gonzalez will become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, although if he is to return he has already said that it will be with the Falcons.
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