Earlier this month, there was a transaction that really caught my attention. The Atlanta Falcons had to release tight end Tony Gonzalez on March 11, because he had not filed his retirement papers yet. According to a league source, via Pro Football Talk, Gonzalez was due to receive a substantial bonus if he was still on the roster on March 13.
Gonzalez thought that's what he might do when he joined the Falcons, especially in the 2010 season, when the Dirty Birds were the No. 1 seed in the NFC. But the Falcons ran into a hot team—the Green Bay Packers—in the divisional round of the playoffs that year and were soundly beaten by the Pack 48-21.
If Gonzalez is really thinking about playing another year, it won't be for the money—it will be for the ring. That's why the Packers might be a surprise destination for Gonzalez this upcoming season, if he does plan to return.
It doesn't hurt that the Packers have an elite quarterback named Aaron Rodgers, who also happened to go to Cal, just like Gonzalez.
By the way, Rodgers had one of the best games of his career the night the Packers upset the Falcons and Gonzalez in that 2010 postseason game, when Rodgers completed 31-of-36 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns.
We also know that Ted Thompson has wanted Gonzalez on his team in the past, at least he did in 2008, when the Kansas City Chiefs eventually traded Gonzalez to the Falcons after also talking to Thompson and the Packers.
In a question and answer segment with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2009, Thompson gave his views about how all that went down.