Tony Gonzalez would not say he is 100 percent done.
But it looks that way.
The Atlanta Falcons tight end is leaning strongly toward retirement after his team was eliminated in an NFC Championship Game loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Just the week before, Gonzalez won a playoff game for the first time in his decorated 16-year career.
Gonzalez didn’t do any crying after he made eight receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown. He knows he can continue playing at a high level if he chooses to do so.
“I don’t want nobody out there to feel sorry for me,” Gonzalez said, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “I’ve had a great ride. Unbelievable ride. A great career. From the Falcons to the Chiefs, it’s been awesome.
“I have no regrets. Not one. And if anybody out there, the media, if you even think about saying that I’m going to have regrets, I’m telling you right now that’s not the case with me. I’ve enjoyed this. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
The 36-year-old, who previously starred for the Kansas City Chiefs, came up one game short of reaching Super Bowl XLVII. But it doesn’t sound like he’s thinking about another season. Not at this point.
“I’m not 100 percent sure,” he said. “But I’m pretty much positive that this is probably it. You can’t keep chasing a Super Bowl.”
If this is it for Gonzalez, he will go out as the greatest pass-catching tight end to ever play the game. His records stand alone.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune