Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez turned 35 earlier this year and is on the final year of his contract.
And if the entire 2011 season was lost to the lockout, he might retire.
"Would I sit out a whole season and come back — probably not, honestly," Gonzalez told Sporting News. “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."
The Falcons do not currently have his successor on the roster, so it shouldn’t come to much of a surprise that they’re looking into a developmental tight end.
The team is expected to have TE Virgil Green (Nevada) in for a visit soon, according to a source close to the Nevada program.
Green, who is known in scouting circles as one of the most athletic players available for the 2011 NFL Draft at his position, put together an outstanding NFL Scouting Combine workout.
Green, who is expected to go off the board in the third round, posted an unheard of 42 ½ vertical jump (best of all tight ends), as high as a 4.54 40-yard dash (best of all tight ends), 10’10” broad jump (best of all tight ends). He also finished third or fourth at his position in other drills.
Green’s senior season at Nevada is probably the biggest reason why he got invited to the Combine in the first place. His high average per catch (14.7) showed that he projects to be a “move” tight end at the NFL level, which means he will be move around the formation more than staying in blocking.
This year, actually, I did play a lot of true tight end,” Green told reporters during the Combine. “We were short at tight end this year, so at the next level from what I can see they have a lot of versatile tight ends. So I think my film can show that I can do a lot of different things, not just play wide. Whatever they want me to do, I can adjust to it.”
The one area where he must improve at the next level is blocking at the point of attack. Personnel sources also said he needs to be more aggressive finishing off his blocks. Both of these facets of his game are easily correctable, the sources said.