The most prolific pass catcher in Chiefs history will add his name to the Arrowhead Stadium Ring of Honor in December.
The franchise will honor tight end Tony Gonzalez on Dec. 13, when the Chiefs play host to the Los Angeles Chargers in a Thursday night primetime game.
“To be able to go up in that Ring of Honor and be listed with all those guys, whew, it’s amazing,” Gonzalez told The Star in February, when he visited Kansas City for the 47th annual 101 Awards. “Couldn’t ask for anything more.”
A shaky rookie season in 1997 gave way to the most established tight-end career in NFL history, the bulk of it in Kansas City.
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Gonzalez played 12 seasons with the Chiefs, setting franchise records for career receptions, receiving touchdowns (76) and 100-yard games (26). He also holds single-season and single-game marks for receptions. He finished his career with five seasons in Atlanta.
Across the nearly two decades, Gonzalez made 14 Pro Bowls and six All-Pro teams. He will first be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019.
“Since he’s going to have to get used to hearing Hall of Fame connected to his name over the next couple of years, it’s our honor to be first,” Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said in February.
In an interview with The Star in February, Gonzalez, 42, credited his time in Kansas City for developing a work ethic that sparked his decorated 17-year career. After being selected in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft, Gonzalez struggled to the tune of 17 drops as a rookie. But he caught at least 59 passes in each of the ensuing 16 seasons, an NFL record for tight ends.
His best season came in 2004, when he caught 102 passes for 1,258 yards and seven touchdowns.