The Atlanta Falcons have never expected Tony Gonzalez to play this upcoming season, and that sentiment was best echoed by these comments from GM Thomas Dimitroff. It looks like Gonzalez will indeed call it quits, as CBS Sports has hired him to be a studio analyst on NFL Today. Gonzalez already got some practice in this offseason with his comments on the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, and he honestly did a great job of breaking things down. In interviews with bigger media outlets, he’s always come off as a charismatic person, and he should forge a nice career for himself as an analyst.
It’s still possible for Gonzalez to return to the NFL this upcoming season, and the Falcons would hold his rights. But they clearly don’t expect him to come back and neither do I. He was a bit coy earlier this offseason about retiring, but it doesn’t look like a Brett Favre comeback will materialize. There will still probably be rumblings about how Gonzalez, who was frustrated that the Falcons didn’t trade him to a contender last season so that he could pursue that ever-elusive Super Bowl ring, could sign with a big contender that wants pass-catching help, but I think he’s done and will focus on a career as an analyst at the age of 37 after a successful, future Hall of Fame career as arguably the best TE in NFL history.
The Sports Business Journal’s Josh Ourand reports that CBS had been going after Gonzalez for more than a year, which furthers the notion that his playing career is over; he probably decided it’s high time to quit the NFL as a player and break down the game on TV. Gonzalez’s role will be prominent, and he replaces legends Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe on the show.
Due to his personality and what seems like a promisingly fresh, intelligent take on the NFL, Tony Gonzalez should be an exciting NFL analyst to watch this upcoming season.