Well Tony Gonzalez is the alltime leader in receptions and receiveing yards among tightends alltime and hes still going. At 32, Gonzalez amazingly put up 1,058 yards in 08. Now hes 33 years old and may have father time on his heels but who knows. He obviously takes care of himself, perhaps like one Jerry Rice another phenom. Gonzalez has missed only 2 starts since 1998. He has terrorized the leagues' defenses for 12 seasons and has scored 76 touchdowns with 916 receptions for 10,940 yards. Several years back Gonzalez passed Kellen Winslow on the alltime list. Gonzalez then passed Cleveland great Ozzie Newsome three years ago. He has been the king of tightends for years now. His receiveing numbers look like that of a wide receiver. Gonzalez, it seems has engraved his place in NFL history as the greatest tightend ever.
Hold the phone, theres a tightend in Dallas whos got Gonzalez on his mind. A six year veteran named Jason Witten who may have a very small chance of catching him. The Volunteer tightend came into the league at 21 years old. He has played only half the time that Gonzalez has and has close enough numbers. After 6 years Witten has 429 receptions for 4,935 yards and 25 touchdowns. If Witten can stay healthy there is a very small chance he has to pass Gonzalez in yards. If the tightend has 7 very good years ahead of him. At 27, he has an opportunity. It will be very hard because Gonzalez just put up 1,058 on a bad Chief team. When will he hit the wall? Witten was beaten up last year. Is Witten already wearing down? Just for Witten to catch Gonzalez in yards, he'll need 6,005 yards in 7 seasons? Its extremely unlikely. Each yard that Gonzalez gets adds onto that total. Antonio Gates has had a great career but he is now 29 and not half way to Gonzalez in yards.Seeing the great player that Witten is, lets you know how great Tony Gonzalez is. Jason Witten is young but I don't believe he'll pass the best tightend ever Tony Gonzalez. He never had a good team around him and still was amazing.
THE NFL ALL-TIME GREAT TIGHTENDS
Tony Gonzalez 33 916 receptions 10,940 yards 11.9 avg. 76 touchdowns
Shanon Sharpe 815 receptions 10,060 yards 12.3 avg. 62 touchdowns
Ozzie Newsome 662 receptions 7,980 yards 12.1 avg. 47 touchdowns
Jackie Smith 480 receptions 7,918 yards 16.5 avg. 40 touchdowns
Kellen Winslow 541 receptions 6,741 yards 12.5 avg. 45 touchdowns
Todd Christensen 461 receptions 5,872 yards 12.7 avg. 40 touchdowns
Mike Ditka 427 receptions 5,812 yards 13.6 avg. 43 touchdowns
Ben Coates 499 receptions 5,555 yards 11.2 avg. 50 touchdowns
Wesley Walls 450 receptions 5,291 yards 11.8 avg. 54 touchdowns
John Mackey 331 receptions 5,236 yards 15.8 avg. 38 touchdowns
Dave Casper 378 receptions 5,216 yards 13.8 avg. 52 touchdowns
Brent Jones 417 receptions 5,195 yards 12.5 avg. 33 touchdowns
Antonio Gates 29 400 receptions 5,066 yards 12.7 avg. 51 touchdowns
Jason Witten 27 429 receptions 4,935 yards 11.5 avg. 25 touchdowns
Mark Bavaro 351 receptions 4,733 yards 13.5 avg. 39 touchdowmns
If I missed anyone, please let me know? These are the greats I grew up watching. Regardless Witten will be a Hall of Famer if he continues on this pace. He might be able to get the second spot. Not bad for a 3rd round pick? Look at the average for Jackie Smith? He was able to do that in the NFC east on a pretty bad team. Although his Cardinals won the east in 74 and 75. Again these stats are from www.pro-football-reference.com.