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No camp? No problem for Tony Gonzalez

Michael Silver reports the Atlanta Falcons are cautiously optimistic tight end Tony Gonzalez will return for another season.

I don’t think that part is anything new. I’ve had the feeling the Falcons have been thinking a Gonzalez return is likely since general manager Thomas Dimitroff told me a few days before the Super Bowl that the team was lobbying hard for the veteran to come back for one more season. I could tell just by listening to Dimitroff how serious he was about bringing Gonzalez back.

What is new in Silver’s report is that Gonzalez wants somewhere around $7 million for the season and to be able to sit out some or all of training camp. I don’t think the money is an issue. The Falcons have some cap room and can make that kind of contract fit.

Although some coaches might scoff at the idea of letting a player sit out most or all of training camp, Atlanta’s Mike Smith is a little more flexible than most. Training camps aren’t as long as they once were and Gonzalez already knows the offense and has great chemistry with quarterback Matt Ryan.

I don’t know that Smith would be willing to let Gonzalez miss training camp entirely. But I think Smith would be willing to put Gonzalez on a very light schedule for August.

The bottom line is the Falcons want Gonzalez back so much that I think they'll be willing to do whatever it takes to make his return happen.