Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Tony Gonzalez stated in an interview this week that he would consider retirement if the NFL lockout made the 2011 season disappear.
Gonzalez said to Sporting News, “Would I sit out a whole season and come back — probably not, honestly. At this point, at my age, I don’t know if that would be smart of me to do something like that. But I’m enjoying the offseason, working out and preparing like I always do.” Gonzalez who is now 35 was picked up by the Falcons in 2009. Since that time, he has had 153 receptions for over 1500 yards with 12 touchdowns. Gonzalez has also provided veteran leadership on and off the field and has quickly become a Falcon fan favorite.
Gonzalez also said the following about the NFL lockout, “I think it might cut into camp,” Gonzalez said of the labor dispute. “Into the season, I doubt it. Who knows though? Hopefully we can get these issues resolved. The arguments from the owners’ perspective are a little outrageous to me. It’s the No. 1 game in the world. I think there are so many ways you could structure a deal. Maybe there are too many chiefs, not enough Indians. Maybe we should get one or two representatives from each side to hammer it out. But between the owners and the players, that’s a lot of different opinions and that’s why the process is going so slow. That’s why I don’t think it’s going to be resolved anytime soon. But I just don’t see an entire season being taken away. That would be sad. Not just for the players and the owners, but the fans.”
I hope that for players like Gonzalez and others like him who are nearing retirement ages that their careers go out on a non-season. That would be a tragedy in a fight over billions.