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Tony Gonzalez to return to Falcons this year

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Tight end Tony Gonzalez will return to play for the Atlanta Falcons this year.

Gonzalez tweeted on Tuesday, "I'm happy to say that after speaking with my family, I'm coming back. The lure of being on such a great team and organization, along with unbelievable fan support was too good to pass up. We have a great shot to get to the Super Bowl, RISE UP ATLANTA!"

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith made it clear in a news conference that the Falcons are a much better football team after Gonzalez decided to cancel his retirement plans and return for another season.

"We are very pleased that Tony has decided to come back for another season," said Smith. "He has been a key component to our success during his four years and it is great to have the opportunity to coach him for a fifth season. Tony is one of the hardest working players I have ever been around and it will be good to have his leadership and work ethic back in our locker room."

"Our goal each and every off season is to get better as a team and I can assure you this; we are a much better football team this afternoon than we were this morning."

Gonzalez ranks second in NFL history with 1,242 career receptions and his 103 touchdown catches are the sixth most in the league. 790 The Zone's Chris Dimino said the return of the future hall of famer speaks volumes for the Falcons organization.

"I think Tony Gonzalez wanting to come back proves how far this franchise has come since the debacle of a few years ago. You don't come back to take a shot to win a Super Bowl unless your team has a shot to win a Super Bowl," Domino said.

Coach Smith said Gonzalez may miss some or even all of training camp because of previously planned family commitments, but he insists Gonzalez will be ready to rise up for the season opener.

"I know this, Tony Gonzalez will be prepared for the opening game in the 2013 season. There's nobody that's going to be more prepared than Tony Gonzalez," Smith said.

When asked why Gonzalez decided to return, Smith said it was obvious.

"In Tony's mind, from what I've read from reports from him, he felt like there was some unfinished business and I think we all feel that way," Smith said.

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