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Falcons Not Counting On A 2014 Tony Gonzalez Return

Nor should they be.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

While Tony Gonzalez isn't quite slamming the door shut on a return to the NFL, the Falcons are wisely not counting on that return.

Per Vaughn McClure at ESPN, Thomas Dimitroff is proceeding as though Gonzalez will not be returning to the team, even if they're 9-2 as Gonzo said. The logistics of bringing someone back to the team at a fairly high salary that far into the season would be difficult, but obviously if Gonzalez kept himself in shape and was capable of contributing, it wouldn't be the easiest thing in the world to say no. The Falcons aren't counting on that.

"I believe Tony Gonzalez has retired and he’ll have a fantastic career in the media business," Dimitroff said.

It's worth remembering that the Falcons will retain Gonzalez's rights if he decides to return, so they could either choose to bring him back or move him for a draft pick. Insert your snarky comments about 2013 right here. If Toilolo shows real growth and the Falcons manage to address the position in the off-season by adding at least a capable backup, a trade might be likelier than you would be inclined to think on first blush.

Either way, I don't expect Gonzalez to return to the Falcons in 2014. Do you?