Tony Gonzalez came in at No. 7 on John Clayton’s list of the NFL’s top 10 tight ends.
Last season was Gonzalez’ 15th in the league, and he caught 80 passes for 875 yards and seven touchdowns. He was fourth in the league with those 80 catches, fifth in yards and fourth in touchdown catches.
At 35 years old, it’s easy to see why Clayton put Gonzalez at No. 7.
But let’s not put him out to pasture just yet.
Not only has the new collective bargaining agreement greatly eased the frequency of practice sessions to take a lot of the toll of players bodies, but head coach Mike Smith has had a “Greybeard Club” program in place for years.
Veterans like Gonzalez and John Abraham don’t practice on Wednesday’s as Smith gives them the day off to make sure mileage on their bodies doesn’t add up. Gonzalez has mentioned on many occasions that Smith’s methods have added years to his career.
That said, Gonzalez did recently go on Sirius/XM Radio and say 2012 would likely be his last year.
But because he’s been handled well by the Falcons coaching staff, and he’s in superb shape because of his All-Pro Diet, don’t be surprised to see Gonzalez outperform Clayton’s No. 7 ranking in 2012.
(h/t to Pat Yasinskas for pointing this out)