Tight end Tony Gonzalez will finish up his NFL career this upcoming Sunday afternoon.
Unfortunately, his last game won’t be in a Chiefs’ jersey and it won’t be at Arrowhead, but that shouldn’t ruin the memory or tarnish the legend of the great Kansas City tight end.
Great players must eventually leave the game, and it’s truly a blessing when they can leave under their own power. That will be the case for Tony Gonzalez, and that’s one of the many reasons to fondly celebrate his career this Sunday.
Despite the fact that he was never able to win a Super Bowl, Gonzalez will leave the NFL with at least 1,321 catches, 15,071 yards and 111 touchdowns. He may be able to add to add to those numbers against the Carolina Panthers as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.
He’s played 17 seasons in the NFL, 12 of them as a member of the Chiefs. Gonzalez has won Pro Bowl honors 13 times and is a six-time first team all-pro.
Gonzalez notched over 1,000 yards in a single season four times during his career, and that’s amazing considering that he’s a tight end. It’s a position that has to split time between blocking and receiving mind you, and much of a tight end’s effectiveness comes in the red zone where yards aren’t readily available. Gonzalez did what Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham do now before the tight end really because a hybrid position, and one could easily argue that he paved the way for what we see today in the NFL.
He had three double-digit touchdown seasons, all with the Chiefs, and even as a 37-year old, he’s helped Atlanta to the tune of 803 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
Gonzalez is truly one of the best ever, and it’s going to be sad to see him go.
He may not have a ring, but he’ll be one of the few rare great ones to not be defined by that fact. Gonzalez’ legacy in the NFL will mean more than a hundred Super Bowl rings.
Even though many wished that he would somehow find his way back to Kansas City, there’s a part of me that believes a part of Kansas City will be able to find its way back to him this Sunday afternoon.
He’ll leave the field as a Falcon, but there’s no denying the fact that he’ll always be a Chief.