Gonzalez: Fans helped bring him back

April, 5, 2013
4/05/13
1:00
PM ET

Although he spent much of the 2012 season saying he was 95 percent sure it would be his last, Tony Gonzalez decided to play another season. A lot of people, including fans, played a big role in influencing Gonzalez to spend another season with the Atlanta Falcons.

In this radio interview with "Mike & Mike in the Morning," Gonzalez said owner Arthur Blank, coach Mike Smith, Thomas Dimitroff and receiver Roddy White were among those that lobbied hard for him to play another season.

“It was a combination of my teammates, the front office, the coaches, the ownership and also the fans as well, seeing the stuff they did for me on Facebook and then my family," Gonzalez said. “I would have felt like the biggest jerk if I did say after all that, “Hey, I want to retire."

Gonzalez, 37, got the first playoff win of his career when the Falcons defeated Seattle. Atlanta then lost to San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game. The fact the Falcons came within 10 yards of getting to the Super Bowl also played a big role in the decision by Gonzalez.

“I feel good,’’ Gonzalez said. “My body feels good. It was kind of a no-brainer after all was said and done, just because of how close we got in that last game.’’

But Gonzalez already is putting a firm percentage on the chance that he will retire after the 2013 season.

“I am 100 percent sure,’’ Gonzalez said.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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