Veteran mini-camp opens next week, giving us all a wonderful opportunity to see our favorite players in action as they ever-so-slowly gear up for the season ahead. There will be one marquee name missing, though.
According to the mothership, Tony Gonzalez won't be making an appearance next week, but it's an excused absence. There's not much more detail than that, but it's not hard to guess why Gonzo will be reclining (or running eighteen miles, either or) from the comfort of his home.
The Falcons were only able to lure Gonzalez back with the promise of another strong title run, a lucrative deal and a practice plan tailored to his liking. Gonzo's not a young man anymore, but obviously he keeps himself in legendary shape and has never had his motivation questioned by anyone inside or outside the league. You can argue that he doesn't need to practice as much as everyone else, and I certainly won't tell you that missing mini-camp is going to hurt him when the season rolls around.
That's the likeliest explanation, and aside from a little envy from other vets, I can't see the downside. Go ahead and pencil Gonzo in for a nice season in 2013.