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Falcons GM has asked Tony Gonzalez to return

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez celebrates as he leaves the field after the Falcons defeated the Seattle Seahawks in their NFL NFC Divisional playoff football game in Atlanta, Georgia January 13, 2013.

TAMI CHAPPELL/REUTERS

Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said Thursday he has asked All-Pro tight end not to retire.

"A guy who is 36 (years old) catching 100-plus balls (including the postseason), it just doesn't seem like it's time for him to move on," Dimitroff told ESPN.com.

Gonzalez said during the season he was 95 percent sure he would retire after the Falcons' season ended. Atlanta lost to San Francisco 10 days ago in the NFC Championship.

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"Tony's a man and he's got to make his own decision," said Dimitroff, who added he told Gonzalez he wants him to return. "Suffice it to say that it's not going to be an easy decision for him one way or another because he knows that he still has fuel in the tank and it's very legitimate fuel in the tank."

Gonzalez ended the season No. 1 among tight ends in receptions (1,242), receiving yards (14,268) and receiving touchdowns (103).

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