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Could Tony Gonzalez be Patriots TE option?
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That’s the message that Patriots fans might take from recent comments made by retired future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez.
The premier pass catcher walked away from the game after a disappointing final season with the Falcons and is currently employed to work CBS’ NFL coverage this fall.
But after a career in which he accomplished almost everything an individual could without playing in or winning a Super Bowl, Gonzalez admits there will be a pull to return to the field if the right situation presented itself later this fall.
“The temptation would be there, but I don't know what the gain would be,'' Gonzalez told Newsday. "I've always wanted a ring. That's been my main goal as a player over the last 15 years of my career. You're really trying to get that ultimate goal.
"But I'd be a mercenary to come in and get a Super Bowl ring, play with a team for, what, six, seven weeks? And even if I got the ring, it wouldn't be the same as going through the fight with the team from the beginning to the end. I don't think that will happen. The temptation will be there, but I'm 100- percent happy with my decision.
Gonzalez also made it clear that some teams have already called about him coming out of retirement, although he wouldn’t say which ones.
“I've had teams ask me to come back and play for them,'' he said. "I won't name those teams, but I'm happily retired, so I'm not even thinking about it. I'm looking forward to getting to work with these guys from CBS.''
What does this all mean for the Patriots? Maybe nothing.
But looking at the team’s tight end situation, the fact that Gonzalez admits there will be a “temptation” to join a franchise with Super Bowl hopes late in the season does cause one to ponder the possibilities.
Beyond Rob Gronkowski, who’s coming back from a torn ACL and has been hurt to end each of the last three seasons, the Patriots have really no pass-catching options on the tight end depth chart.
Marry that with the idea that New England is likely to win its division and expected to compete for the AFC title -- having playing in the AFC Championship in each of the last three seasons – and the Patriots would seem to be just the type of team that might tempt Gonzalez come November or December.
Play with Tom Brady, for Bill Belichick and be a mercenary on a Super Bowl run? Or, sit on a CBS TV set and watch the Patriots offense roll into January knowing he could be a helpful part of the potential ring-winning mix?
Those are options that Gonzalez might face later this fall. And while he says he’s happy with the way his career ended -- including his 83 caches for 859 yards and eight touchdowns in a dismal four-win season for the Falcons last fall – Gonzalez didn’t seem to slam the door shut on his NFL career.
As the famous quote from the movie Dumb and Dumber goes … So you’re saying there’s a chance?!
Do you think Gonzalez could play for the Patriots at some point? Would you want him? Let us know with a comment below!