If Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has anything to do with it, Tony Gonzalez won't be retiring. According to ESPN.com, "Dimitroff admitted Thursday he is lobbying hard to convince Gonzalez to return."
If you were Dimitroff, wouldn't you be on your knees begging the greatest tight end in the history of the game to come back for one more year?
I would with no shame.
Here is a list of the pros and cons likely weighing on the mind of Gonzalez right now.
At the ripe age of 36, Tony Gonzalez had his most productive season since 2008 with the Atlanta Falcons in 2012.
In an offense with plenty of weapons, the greatest tight end of all time caught 93 passes for 930 yards with eight touchdowns.
The most glaring pro of Gonzalez deciding to come back is the fact that he has yet to slow down whatsoever.
Though Gonzalez has proven to be somewhat of an ageless wonder, he would really be testing history if he were to come back in 2013 at 37 years of age.
The legendary tight end has taken care of his body throughout his illustrious career, and he's clearly in a class of his own. But no great tight ends have experienced continued success in their late 30s.
That is not to say Gonzo couldn't be productive in 2013, but at 37 he certainly could experience an unfortunate decline if he doesn't retire.
Matt Ryan's touchdown-pass total has increased in each of his five years as a professional, and his passing-yard total has increased every season since 2009.
Safe to say, he is reaching his prime and has legitimate "elite" potential—if he's not considered in that classification already.
So, if Gonzalez decides to return to the field, he will be thrown passes by a premier quarterback.
Miraculously, Gonzalez has missed only two games in his professional career.
He could retire relatively unscathed.
If he doesn't retire, he again will put himself at risk of suffering a major injury that could have long-term negative effects.
Julio Jones and Roddy White have emerged as the most dynamic, high-volume wideout duo in the NFL.
White will be 32 in November, and Jones will be 24 on Super Bowl Sunday.
If Gonzalez decides to stick around, those two will undoubtedly draw plenty of coverage away from him—quite the selling point for the tight end.