Falcons’ Gonzalez to play in 2010

The Falcons’ official website confirmed on Wednesday that Tony Gonzalez will be back in 2010, which is obviously good news for Atlanta. Gonzo caught 83 passes for 867 yards and six touchdowns in the Falcons’ run-heavy offense this season, proving that the 34-year-old can still play at an elite level.

Atlanta traded a second round pick in this year’s draft to acquire Gonzalez from Kansas City last offseason. He’s under contract for the next two seasons but I imagine that the veteran is taking things year by year now. The Falcons would love for him to finish out the remainder of his contract in Atlanta, but who knows what his decision will be after next season.

Due to injuries to Michael Turner and Matt Ryan, the Falcons’ offense wasn’t as explosive as many thought it would be entering the season. Turner also got off to a slow start, forcing offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey to rely more on the passing game instead of beating teams with a balanced approach. That was fine until Ryan started to struggle, then inconsistency became a huge problem for Atlanta. The offense also had to deal with injuries to the receiving corps, as Roddy White was hobbled all season (although he never missed a game) and promising youngster Harry Douglas suffered a knee injury in training camp and never played a snap.

Now that Gonzalez is committed to 2010 and assuming Ryan, Turner, White and Douglas can return to full health, things once again look promising for the Falcons’ offense. Now GM Thomas Dimitroff must concentrate on adding more talent to a young defensive squad so Atlanta can challenge for a playoff spot again next season.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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