Tony Gonzalez says he'll play for one more season

This is it.

Really. This time is really it.

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said Thursday that this coming season will be his final one in the NFL. It’s something we have heard the future Hall of Famer say before.

Gonzalez has already signed a $6.9 million, one-year deal for 2012, and the subject came up Friday when he was on an ESPN/Facebook chat, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He’s shown no signs of slowing down on the field but he turns 36 at the end of this month. Gonzalez made 80 receptions for 875 yards and seven touchdowns this season. He’s made 233 catches over the last three seasons for the Falcons and given quarterback Matt Ryan a presence in the middle of the field that was needed.

But Gonzalez has played 15 seasons and he’s not going to be out there forever.

I said that last year though, and the year before. But I really do believe this is it,” Gonzalez said. “First of all, this is the first time my wife came to me and said, ‘You’re only going to play one more year, right?’”

Gonzalez needs five more touchdown catches to reach 100 for his career. He could also pass 1,200 career receptions with 51 more and top 14,000 yards with 662. He could go out with some very impressive milestones if he actually hangs ’em up following the 2012 season.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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