Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is pretty sure that 2012 will be the 16th and final season of his Hall of Fame career, but is leaving himself some wiggle room, just in case, reports D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"I would say that I'm 95 percent sure, just in case," Gonzalez said on Friday. "I talked to my family this offseason. I've had a great run. I feel pretty good about where I'm at as a player. I just want to make sure that I end at the top.
The most productive tight end in NFL history, Gonzalez ranks second all-time with 1,149 receptions and, with 13,338 receiving yards and 95 receiving touchdowns entering 2012, is likely to vault into the top eight all-time in both of those categories. The one thing that has eluded Gonzalez is postseason success. He has caught 16 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns in five career playoff games, all losses.
Sensing that the Falcons are close, Gonzalez signed a one-year, $6.9 million extension at the end of last season. Another productive season could prompt the 36-year-old to hang up his cleats and await his call from Canton.
"I don't want to be one of those players towards the end -- nothing against those guys who've done it like that in the past -- but I want to make sure that I'm at the top of my game when I do go out," Gonzalez said.