One of the most iconic Kansas City Chiefs players ever is likely headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The NFL announced Tony Gonzalez was included on a list of 15 modern era Hall of Fame finalists that was released Thursday.
Gonzalez is credited with using speed and athleticism to transform the tight end position. Many consider him to be the best ever at his position. The NFL recently placed Gonzalez at No. 45 on its list of all-time greatest players, regardless of position.
"Tony G" was named to 14 Pro Bowl teams in his 17 seasons. He finished with 1,324 career receptions, 15,127 receiving yards and 111 touchdowns. With so many catches, often in heavy traffic, Gonzalez only fumbled six times. He only missed 2 career starts.
While he was known as a scoring threat, Gonzalez was also a respected blocker. He helped the Chiefs dominating offensive line in 2003, when Priest Holmes set the then-NFL record for rushing touchdowns in a season (27).Before the Chiefs chose him in the first round of the 1997 NFL draft, Gonzalez played football and basketball at the University of California. He spent his last 5 NFL seasons playing for the Atlanta Falcons. The Chiefs added Gonzalez to its Ring of Honor during a ceremony in December.
Four to eight of the finalists are expected to be selected to join the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The 2019 class will be revealed Feb. 2 in Atlanta before the Super Bowl.
Fellow finalist Ed Reed, a ball-hawking safety with the Baltimore Ravens, is considered with Gonzalez to be near shoe-ins for Canton. Other finalists with ties to the Chiefs; cornerback Ty Law, who played in Kansas City in 2006 and 2007, and safety Johnny Robinson, who played with the Dallas Texans and Chiefs from 1961 to 1970.