By Sara Woodall
After what seems like a short grieving period from a heartbreaking loss to San Francisco in the NFC Championship game, the Atlanta Falcons 36-year-old tight end Tony Gonzalez informed the public he will come back for one more year. It was confirmed on Tuesday after Gonzalez spoke with Fox Sports about receiving medical clearance from his doctors, and then posted on his Twitter account about his return.
To Atlanta General Manager Thomas Dimitroff, Owner Arthur Blank, and the entire Falcons organization, this is the ultimate silver lining. Gonzalez, the all-time stat leader at the tight end position, showed great optimism in his Twitter post:
“I’m happy to say that after speaking with my family, I’m coming back,” he wrote. “The lure of being on such a great team and organization, along with unbelievable fan support was too good to pass up. We have a great shot to get to the Super Bowl, RISE UP ATLANTA!”
Two months ago, Gonzalez captured his first career playoff victory, and the Falcons were just 10 yards short of their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, so why not come back for one more year?
“Considering how this season ended, I wanted to give it another run with Matt [Ryan], Smitty [coach Mike Smith] and the guys we have in there. It was the first time I had won a playoff game, and hopefully coming back once more we can take it one step further,” said by Gonzalez in an interview with Fox Sports.
Gonzalez’s return is great news, but it also raises questions about the upcoming draft. Should the Falcons go all-in for defense, or should they draft a young tight end pupil for Gonzalez to mold? Some may suggest go for talented offensive youth, but the only thing the Falcons should address is the defense. Their mediocre regular season defensive numbers and their second-half collapse in the NFC title game prove there is still a piece missing. Matt Ryan may have one more year with the NFL’s greatest tight end by his side, but at the end of the day, championships are still won on both sides of the ball.