Tony Gonzalez is 36 years old and he's on record as saying this is his last NFL season. He's hinted at that before but he sounds certain that this is it for him. He spoke to the KC media recently about his decision to end it after this year and he said he didn't want to be one of those guys who drags his career out several years too long.
"There is no way that I could ever take going out there and not being me - being the guy that everybody's always seen," TG said earlier this week. "I have never gone into a season ever thinking that I've lost a step, contrary to what anybody else - media or whoever - wants to say. I get a kick out of it when I see the highlights and they say ‘well, he's not what he used to be,' I get a kick out of that because I don't see it and I've got people around me that I trust that say they don't see it."
"So going into each season, I know that I'm going to be 100 percent me, that I can go out there and be one of the best tight ends in the league. I don't ever want to go into a season like that. I always was a big proponent of going out on top. I would never want to be a player - and I've talked to a lot of players that played a long time, guys like Jerry Rice, Warren Moon, Marcus Allen and they all say the same thing, ‘Let them tear you out of the league, they've got to pull you out of the league.' For me, I'd rather go out on top and I want to make sure that people remember me for who I really was, not as ‘Oh yeah, that last year or two he just wasn't the guy he used to be.'"
That quote stuck out to me when I was talking with SB Nation Atlanta and when I asked about TG they said he's been the same guy in Atlanta that he was in Kansas City.
"Tony Gonzalez has essentially been the same player you all grew to love in Kansas City. A fantastic weapon, reliable, durable,does all the little things right. His stats may not have been what we saw in his prime, but he has remained an important cog in the Falconsoffense and continues to cement his legacy as the best to ever play the position. This being his last season and Gonzalez being the hardworker that he is, I wouldn't blink if I saw him post another 80-catch, 800-yard season."
The definition of consistency can be seen at this link, Tony G.'s career stats.