After 17 seasons in the NFL, Tony Gonzalez decided to end what will be a Hall of Fame career on Sunday.
“On behalf of the entire Chiefs family, I want to congratulate Tony on an incredible career,” Clark Hunt said in a statement released Monday. “What he was able to accomplish during his time in the NFL is truly remarkable, and I have no doubt that Tony is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. We were very blessed to have him in a Chiefs uniform for 12 seasons, and his contributions on and off the field were extraordinary and will never be forgotten. I want to thank Tony for his time in Kansas City and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. He will always be considered a part of the Chiefs family.”
As Hunt said, Gonzalez was pretty decent at football. Over the course of his 17-year career he broke several NFL and Chiefs records, including the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions, yards, touchdowns, and 100-yard games as a tight end. He is Kansas City’s career record holder for receptions, yards, touchdown receptions, and 100-yard games.
Add in wide receivers and Gonzalez ranks just fine amongst the NFL’s greats, ranking second in receptions, fifth in receiving yards, and sixth in touchdowns. Not too shabby for a tight end, eh?
“It’s time for me to go into the next stage of life just like everybody else,” Gonzalez said Sunday. “Nobody’s immune to this, and the way I’ve been able to go out on my own terms, it’s a blessing. And like I said, I have no regrets.”
A 13-time Pro Bowler and 10-time All-Pro selection, Gonzalez was drafted 13th overall in the 1997 draft by former general manager Carl Peterson, and played for the Chiefs for 12 seasons. He was traded after the 2008 season by then new general manager Scott Pioli to the Atlanta Falcons for a second round pick in the 2010 draft. Kansas City used that pick to select cornerback Javier Arenas.