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Tony Gonzalez: I came back because we have a great team

Panthers Falcons Football

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan,left, and tight end Tony Gonzalez celebrate a 30-28 victory over the Carolina Panthers in an NFL football game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Curtis Compton)


Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez went from 95 percent sure he would retire in January to 100 percent sure he would play in March. So what led Gonzalez to change his time?

Gonzalez said on NFL AM that he became convinced from talking to teammates, coaches, team personnel and his family that spending another year in Atlanta is what he needs to do.

“Matt Ryan, Arthur Blank, Mike Smith, Roddy White, all the guys really want me back,” Gonzalez said. “I went home thinking it was over, and I talked to my family and really sat down with them and discussed the pros and cons of returning, and really, I couldn’t think of too many cons. . . . You know what? We’ve got a great football team, and I look forward to seeing what we can do this year.”

Gonzalez said there’s one more thing for him to do in his career: earn a Super Bowl ring. And so he wanted to make a commitment to the Falcons at the beginning of the offseason, so that they’d know the starting tight end position was taken care of, and that they could get to work on putting the finishing touches on a team that can win it all.

“I want to make sure that they assemble the pieces that they need to make a championship run and get to the Super Bowl in New York,” Gonzalez said.

The return of Gonzalez makes a championship run more likely for the Falcons.