One of the less talked about concerns of the NFL lockout potentially wiping out the entire 2011 season is the impact it could have on the careers of certain players.
The average career of an NFL football player is dramatically short and while some guys seem to be able to play for longer stretches, father time eventually catches them all.
Former Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez is one of the luck few NFL players who has been playing the game at a high level for a very long time. Still, even Gonzalez knows the end of his career is drawing near and that is part of the reason he requested to be traded out of Kansas City when it became apparent the Chiefs were a number of years from a Super Bowl run. Gonzalez, who has never won a playoff game, got his wish and is making one last run of things with the Atlanta Falcons.
That run could come to an end if the 2011 season is canceled.
In an interview with Clifton Brown of Sporting News, Gonzalez indicated that he was unlikely to return should the 2011 season vanish in a sea of litigation.
“Would I sit out a whole season and come back — probably not, honestly,” said Gonzalez. “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.”
Gonzo turned 35 on February 27th. He finished last season with 70 receptions for 656 yards and six touchdowns. By comparison, the man who looks to be Gonzo’s long term replacement in Kansas City, Tony Moeaki, brought in 47 catches for 556 yards and three touchdowns.
Not bad for a rookie and an old man, eh?
Here’s hoping both TE’s are on the field in 2011.