Tony Gonzalez is set to return and earn his $5.75 million

Tony Gonzalez Day" - Atlanta Falcons team owner Arthur Blank honors tight end Tony Gonzalez with a pregame ceremony commemorating his 1,000th catch at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Tony Gonzalez Day" - Atlanta Falcons team owner Arthur Blank honors tight end Tony Gonzalez with a pregame ceremony commemorating his 1,000th catch at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez will return to the team next season, according to his public relations representative Denise White.

“He’s definitely coming back,” said White, the chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based EAG sports management. “He’s excited to be a Falcon next season and make another run at the Super Bowl.”

Gonzalez was on the Jim Rome’s show on ESPN and stated that he “definitely” planned to return.

He’s set to make $5.75 million next season, but had stated after the Falcons’ loss to the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs that it was a “possibility” that he would retire.

He caught 70 passes for 656 yards and six touchdowns last season.

Gonzalez, who will turn 35 in February, is in California. He’s leaving for Hawaii on Tuesday for the Pro Bowl.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank suspected that Gonzalez was leaning toward returning.

“Tony is a first ballot hall of famer,” Blank said on Thursday at the Buckhead Business Association luncheon. “He played 14 years. He’s 34 years old. He has a body of probably somebody who’s 24 years old.”

Gonzalez stated that he knew health-wise he could return.

“He’s very, very devoted to taking care of himself and his family,” Blank said.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter

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110 comments Add your comment

chipontheroad birdsrus

January 21st, 2011
7:03 pm

Foist Good news

Reid Adair

January 21st, 2011
7:04 pm

Great news. I’m glad to hear that Tony Gonzalez is back for 2011.

Dominic Hughes

January 21st, 2011
7:06 pm

This is great news for the Falcons. As Mr Blank says, it’s not like Tony G has the body of a 35-year-old.

TechNut

January 21st, 2011
7:34 pm

Now go out and get a deep threat receiver or two. Looking like 10-12 win seasons and the playoffs will be a norm for us now…this town and franchise have earned it.

hbcuclassics

January 21st, 2011
7:35 pm

2010 HBCU NFL Draft Board (1-6)

1. Kenrick Ellis 6-5, 340 DT Hampton
AP/FCS All-American, All-MEAC, 34 solo, 15TFL, 2 sacks

2. Clifford Eugene 6’1, 198 CB Tenn State
FCS All-American, 3x All-OVC, 4 Ints, 14 PDs

3. Johnny Culbreath 6’5, 285 OT SC State
AP/FCS All-American, 2x All-MEAC

4. Derrin Nettles 6’6, 320 DT Morehouse
AFCA All-American, All-SIAC,37 solo, 23 TFL, 14.5 sacks

5. Ibrahim Abdulai 6’3, 282 DT Ark-PB
All-SWAC, 31 solo, 18 TFL, 7.5 sacks

6. Frank Warren 5’10, 195 RB Grambling
FCS All-American, 2010 SWAC Offensive POY,
1,592 yd rushing, 3rd in NCAA

http://www.hbcuclassics.com

Go Falcons

January 21st, 2011
7:46 pm

With Gonzalez coming back. are the Falcons going to throw the ball to him? He caught 70 passes, more than 30 less than Roddy White. ARe you kidding me?

Great News

January 21st, 2011
7:51 pm

Tony G thanks for coming back Matt and the rest of the team really need you,the best tight end to ever play in the NFL

David

January 21st, 2011
7:58 pm

Please get some DBs At least 6ft tall and get rid of the midget Grimes and the Bum Robinson

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 21st, 2011
8:02 pm

hbcuclassics — Give me the wide out low down. Looking for the next Jacoby Jones (Lane) or Stallworth (Ala A&M) .

Pat

January 21st, 2011
8:09 pm

Dude’s a freak.

JSS

January 21st, 2011
8:09 pm

@ HBCU…
Chris Bell, Chris Bell, and more Chris Bell – Norfolk State and the kid at Alabama A&M – Thomas Harris!
Do you disagree?

JSS

January 21st, 2011
8:15 pm

Is Bell still on the Saints roster by the way? Where did Harris end up?

Marko

January 21st, 2011
8:17 pm

Sid

January 21st, 2011
8:24 pm

Good deal Tony G. We look forward to seeing you in the Super Bowl………..!!!

fanATicaL

January 21st, 2011
8:24 pm

I agree DLed that wide reciever to stretch the defense.Definitely a need also.With Tony declaring and early,gives TDimitroff and company one less decision to plan for.I would now like to start a campaign.To have a free agency Ga homecoming.To have Champ Bailey and Richard Seymour added to our playoff team.
Go Falcons

Larry

January 21st, 2011
8:31 pm

Of course the $5.75 million never factored into his decision, right?

Birdseed

January 21st, 2011
8:31 pm

Fcuking Falcons.

drmondo

January 21st, 2011
8:40 pm

Glad to hear about Gonzo. Please talk to him about adding him to the coaching staff when he does finally retire.
It’s time to light a fire under Mularkey. Figure out a way to open up the offense so we can compete with high-scoring teams. Use screen passes more than once a millenium. Get Douglas involved in the passing game or replace him with a better player if he doesn’t cut the mustard. Roddy is a great player. Jenkins is a role player who blocks well but won’t take pressure off of RW. You need a deep threat who can scare opponents.
On D, we need a pass rush that doesn’t depend entirely on one player. Beirmann didn’t live up to expectations, but has promise. Jerry may not be completely 100% after his injury. Sidbury was inactive for most of the season. Jamaal Anderson is decent against the run but a no-show as a pass rusher. SS Babineaux is solid. Get us a good free agent DE or OLB who can rush the passer. Our secondary was improved but not amazing. Grimes plays with a ton of heart and athleticism but has the handicap of being 5′9″, maybe. Robinson got the big contract but didn’t have a huge impact. At least talk to Nnamdi A from Oakland. If you can sign him then either Robinson or Grimes can be our nickleback and we never have to see Owens lose another game for us again. (No, he isn’t the only one to blame for our horiible playoff loss, but he did more than anyone else on that field to lose that game. He gave up a couple of TDs, got how many penalties called against him and generally played like a scared, unintelligent rabbit).
Like many long-time fans who suffered through the 80’s to the present, the current regime looked like they moved the franchise forward into the realm of respectability. That’s why the Packers game hurts so much. We believed in this team more than ever before, only to have the rug pulled out from beneath us. Please show us this isn’t the same old Falcons. Have a franchise-record 4th winning season in a row followed by at least ONE playoff win. After sticking through all the 3-13, Dave Archer, BJ Tolliver, Jeff George, MV-off-the-field-circus, Eugene Robinson-gotta-have-a-hooker-before-the-SB teams don’t we deserve better?

1eyedJack

January 21st, 2011
8:41 pm

Finest kind.

Falcon James

January 21st, 2011
8:54 pm

This is the best news since we learned the falcon had clinched the playoff!!!!

Ron Choke Mexico

January 21st, 2011
9:02 pm

drmondo,

Brent Grimes, CB: After winning the starting job on the left side over Brian Williams in training camp, Grimes has his most productive year. The undrafted defensive back had 87 tackles and 5 INTs and 23 passes defended – a league best.

drmondo

January 21st, 2011
9:06 pm

Ron, I love Grimes and think he’d probably beat out Robinson for the other starting spot opposite Nnamdi. He does have a handicap, though in being short for a CB. I just want us to have 3 or more starting-caliber CBs on the team to deal with teams like GB and NO who have 3-4 good receivers. I definitely don’t want to see Owens on the field again.

billcanoe

January 21st, 2011
9:18 pm

Tony – Thanks for coming back – that’s really good news!

david

January 21st, 2011
9:33 pm

who cares until we get an OC who opens it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Singletary

January 21st, 2011
9:33 pm

Tony G is the man. I can’t imagine how much stress this puts on his body, but I do think he’s our best shot AND our best coach for the up’n'coming TEs.

buddy roe

January 21st, 2011
9:55 pm

Tony G. go to another team with a great offensive scheme and a real contender. The falcons still have a lot of work to do. It does not matter if the Falcons bring in another WR to stretch the field. They said they were going to work on throwing down field this past off season. Nothing has change this season (32nd in the league in passes 20 plus yard down field).

Lesa

January 21st, 2011
9:55 pm

So glad #88 will be back for another season!!

Saints1Fan

January 21st, 2011
10:05 pm

Welcome back, Tony. You are great tight end.

Ted Striker

January 21st, 2011
10:13 pm

Glad Gonzalez is returning. Too bad he stooped to the Jim Rome show though.

Tim Parker

January 21st, 2011
10:22 pm

I’m glad he’s returning, but picking 27th TE Kyle Rudolph is not a stretch by any means. Gonzales can coach-up the rookie and help extend Gonzo’s career while being groomed as an eventual replacement.

Falcon 2012

January 21st, 2011
10:31 pm

Thanks Tony..Now lets get ready to kick A@@ in 2012….Go Falcons!!!!!!!!!!!

C

January 21st, 2011
10:33 pm

Great news! TG is still a beast! Go Falcons!

Greg

January 21st, 2011
10:34 pm

Yes. Great news! Gonzales is on that does not care about stats. His concern now is TEAM..Together Everyone Achieves More!!! He wants a Super Bowl and did not want to go out how Falcons went out against Packers. He will work harder in the off season. Mr. Blank, now go complete the defense and go get that deep threat WR that will open up R. White and open the run game. Offense has to mix it up. We have to run more screens, draws and reverses. Go Falcons!

nes

January 21st, 2011
10:35 pm

Great news about Gonzales returning! However, we still need a second tight end who can run fast and get separation to stretch the field against the 7-8 in the box opposing defenses are throwing at the Falcons’ offense. He doesn’t need to be a starter, just a excellent receiving tight end who can come in on 2nd-3rd down and long and make the 20-30 yard routes, Falcons can even use the two tight end sets they love to run from, why not fake the run and throw to a fast tight end for a change! First, must draft a 4-5th round tight end to mainly catch and run! Watch the tight ends the Patriots have, that tight end Hernandez is exactly the type we need here.
Also, on QB coach Musgrave leaving, there is more to this situation than meets the eye. He didn’t leave to go after another challenge as it wasn’t finished here in Atlanta. Has to be the type of play-calling by Mularky, plus Coach Smith’s game plans that had to get under Musgrave’s skin, after all, all of us falcon fans can see this every Sunday during the season. Here is the prime example i’m talking about, the ultra conservative game plan with no changes what so ever, and no imagination using mis-direction plays, screens, or reverses against the Packers after having an extra week to add these new dimensions to the offense speaks volumes why Musgrave left. Even the defense had no new wrinkles or schemes to use against the Packers with that extra week off! Falcons did nothing–absolutely nothing different to offset the Packers game, what a shame. Is it Ryan choking or is it the coaches choking??? Musgrave should have replaced Mularky and Coach Smith should not be given an extension on his contract until we win in the playoffs! that is what really matters–yet no proof in the pudding as they say!

hind tit

January 21st, 2011
10:39 pm

Any team left in the playoffs would take Grimes in a heartbeat. He makes up for his lack of height with tight coverage and nose for the ball and is only going to get better. I wish all our db had the desire this kid has.

Please Gonzalez RETIRE!

January 21st, 2011
10:59 pm

I was hoping he would retire because it going to be the same offense like this year. Ryan is going throwing it to him and Roddy White. SAME FALCONS

count_schemula

January 21st, 2011
11:13 pm

Now get Leonard Hankerson as a #2 WR.

The Boss

January 21st, 2011
11:26 pm

Anyone posting “Please Gonzalez retire” is not fit to breath oxygen on this planet!

cantondawg

January 21st, 2011
11:33 pm

The Boss,

Anyone posting “Please Gonzalez retire” would obviously be a Saints, Bucs or Panther fan

Mac

January 21st, 2011
11:44 pm

DAM..I hoped he would retire!

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BAMA

January 22nd, 2011
12:09 am

BAMA

January 22nd, 2011
12:11 am

I’m glad he’s coming back. Maybe Matty Ice will throw it to him instead of the D next year in the playoffs.

Red Dog 77

January 22nd, 2011
12:44 am

Me? I love TG……….but 5.75 mil is alot of clams. I would thank Tony, rely on Peele and draft a young TE freeing up enough money to buy a speedster who can stretch the field………But thats just me, I play with my head and not my heart………..Same would go for Chipper with the Braves…….General managers who have proved they are not afraid to let the “old” legends of the game go for the sake of youth, usually end up the winners………Save your big bucks for something you don’t have……………But I gotta say “love ya Tony, you’re the best “………..RED

fedup

January 22nd, 2011
6:10 am

red dog u said it all, even the tired coaching could use a shaking up , get agressive in play calling , same of offense for 7 yrs and counting. learn to use all players so when your key player are shut down, we don’t have to here the same old speech, of not playing yours best , or we are better team than that, ……….we’ve been waiting now play some real football,,………….just banking on a run game,,,,,,,,,,,Cmon man if its not there then game plan where is the element of surprise…………
Oh thats right we don’t have one

HJones

January 22nd, 2011
6:15 am

Nothing will change until the Atlanta Falcons hire a new Offensive Coordinator. Last in the NFL for plays over 20 yards! Next to last in the NFL for passes over 20 yards. Unacceptable!!!

Paddy

January 22nd, 2011
6:29 am

David……I don’t understand your position on Grimes. He had a Pro Bowl Year! What more can you ask of this guy? Glad TD is calling the shots and not you or no one would be good enough to suit up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ATL Fan

January 22nd, 2011
7:51 am

Way to go Gonzo!!! Or should that be way to stay…Let’s get Nnamdi Asomugha too. That will leave us needing:
1) another DE pass rusher
2) a spread-the-defense #2 WR
3) a speedy tail back that can catch the ball out of the backfield
and
4) a DT that can bulldoze his way to the QB.

ATL Fan

January 22nd, 2011
7:55 am

To me, Grimes appeared to be our best CB. Sorry Dunta, I’m just sayin’.

Finchdawg

January 22nd, 2011
8:00 am

Thanks, Tony! Great news! We’re so glad to have you in Atlanta!