Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

31 Jul 2012

Can Tony Gonzalez do it?

I've been doing some research for an upcoming auction dynasty league draft I have soon. It's the first year of it, so I've been trying to get some sense of when age drop offs usually become apparent at each position.

I started looking at the historical data for TEs, and I found something pretty stark. The most receiving yards in a season by a TE over the age of 35 was done by Wesley Walls in 2002. He had 19 catches for 241 yards that season.

This is relevant because Tony Gonzalez turns 36 this year. And is projected for way more than that. Now clearly Tony Gonzalez is an amazing athlete. He passed Shannon Sharpe as the career leader in receiving yards by a tight end more than 3 years ago. He's only missed two games in the past 14 seasons. So I surely won't bet against him. Even if he has a horrible drop-off (by his standards), he can easily shatter the record for someone his age. I guess the point of this post is that it's easy to take for granted how amazing his career has been and continues to be.

Posted by: Zac on 31 Jul 2012

3 replies , Last at 01 Dec 2012, 7:13am by jenson

1
Re: Can Tony Gonzalez do it?
by jabrch :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 1:58pm

He's a freak...the fact that nobody has done it before doesn't mean it CAN'T be done. That said, if you draft him, I'd expect to get a decent discount given all the TE that are fairly similar after the top 2.

2
Re: Can Tony Gonzalez do it?
by J. Winn (not verified) :: Thu, 08/02/2012 - 11:44pm

He's almost certainly going to be the best value at TE. I agree with jabrch, in that after the first two TEs you won't get a huge difference.

Keep in mind, Tony still had a big year last season. Julio Jones will be playing an even bigger role, meaning less coverage on Tony. Also, he is simply the best TE of all time. I don't expect a significant decline.

3
Re: Can Tony Gonzalez do it?
by jenson (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2012 - 7:13am

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