Falcons hopeful Tony Gonzalez changes his mind

Mike Smith wants veteran to return in '13 Brad Biggs

Print This January 22, 2013, 09:50 AM EST

Say it ain’t so, Tony.

The Atlanta Falcons are hopeful that future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez will have a change of heart and will return for a 17th NFL season in 2013.

Gonazlez said after the Falcons lost on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game that he was likely done playing. The 13-time Pro Bowl selection left open a small window – 5 percent – that he comes back but said he doesn’t want to chase a Super Bowl.

Gonzalez ranks as the all-time leader for receiving statistics at his position. He has said he believes he can perform at a high level for another two or three seasons if he desires.

I’m hoping for the 5 percent,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Tony handled this very well all season long. I don’t think he’s deviated from that.

“Tony and I will have a conversation over the next couple of weeks. This is a tough day, and the next couple of days are tough with the finality. I don’t think we really need to be discussing anything like that (yet).”

Stay tuned.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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