The Atlanta Falcons are close to a Super Bowl and may be a player or two away at this point. One of those players was already on the roster but has hinted at retirement.
The Falcons have spent all off-season trying to get Tony Gonzalez to reconsider retirement for at least one more season. Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports is reporting that sources close to the team and teammates believe that Gonzalez will come back in 2013 for “more money, and the chance to miss some if not all of training camp.”
“He will come back if they pay him $7 million and he doesn’t have to do training camp,” said one Falcons player familiar with Gonzalez’s thinking.
Another team source added, “If we offer him the money, he’ll most likely be back for one more. He’ll most likely be looking to miss training camp, though.”
A high-ranking Falcons official indicated the team would not likely let either of those issues become an impediment to a deal. Gonzalez, who had a $3.9 million base salary in 2012 and earned a $1 million roster bonus, is still productive (he caught 93 passes last season and shined in the postseason) and is known for his phenomenal physical conditioning.
“The money is there,” a source close to Gonzalez said. “Working out the days he can miss is the biggest holdup.”
The important scenario in this whole situation is the fact that Gonzalez would be free to sign with any team on Tuesday, and a few other upper echelon teams who may be a player away could offer Gonzalez the same deal, and more money.
This will be interesting to watch play out.