Smith trying to coax Gonzalez back: Recently, Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said he was “95 percent” sure he was going to retire. The Falcons are hoping to tap into that five percent uncertainty. Head coach Mike Smith says he plans to talk with the future Hall of Famer in the near future and try to convince him to return for at least one more season. With Gonzalez winning the first playoff game of his career and coming up just short of his first career Super Bowl berth, there is speculation that he could be hungry enough to give it another try. The veteran tight end had one of his best seasons in recent memories, catching 93 balls for 930 yards and eight touchdowns. If he does decide to come back for another season, he will certainly be a top five tight end in most drafts and would boost the fantasy value of Matt Ryan.
Johnson wants Bills QB competition: Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson says he’d like to see quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick engage in a quarterback competition next season. In fairness, Johnson said he wouldn’t object to going to a position battle himself, saying “competition brings out the best in us.” But we suspect that if Fitzpatrick were producing at Aaron Rodgers-type levels, the receiver wouldn’t have even dreamed of such a comment. So it does say something about Johnson’s level of confidence in his signal-caller. Fitzpatrick’s touchdown numbers were equal to his production in 2011 while his interception numbers went down. However, he threw for more than 400 fewer yards in 2012 and had seven games with less than 200 yards passing. Having someone on the roster that can push Fitzpatrick might not be a bad thing, though the options in the free agent market and draft will be limited this season.
Garcon considering rest over surgery: Washington Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon will reportedly opt for rest over surgery to heal his injured toe this offseason. Garcon suffered the injury in the regular season opener and missed six games, though he still finished the season as Washington’s leading receiver. A toe injury is never a good thing for an athlete, but it’s particularly worrisome when that athlete’s game is heavily based on his speed and explosion. Since there’s no guarantee that surgery will have Garcon ready for the start of the season, the decision to rest isn’t necessarily a bad one. A healthy Garcon, mixed with a healthy Robert Griffin III, would make the receiver a quality No. 2 option in most leagues.
— Marcas Grant
Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG