NFL News: Tony Gonzalez 50-50 on playing beyond 2010

ATLANTA - AUGUST 13: Tony Gonzalez  of the Atlanta Falcons prepares to face the Kansas City Chiefs at Georgia Dome on August 13, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez told Alex Marvez of FOX Sports that there’s a 50-50 chance that he’ll retire after the 2010 season.

“It is year to year,” Gonzalez said after a Monday practice at the Falcons’ headquarters. “I could play another three or four years. I know I could … There’s a lot of different factors. Yeah, I’d probably come back but you never know. I’m going to wait.”

“That’s the only thing driving me right now,” said Gonzalez, who hasn’t even won a playoff game since entering the league in 1997 with the Chiefs. “It’s not numbers. It’s not milestones. It’s not money. It’s not glory. It’s not going out trying to be famous and all that stuff. It’s one thing.

“It’s not a secret. People have known it. It’s the reason I got out of Kansas City (last offseason) and the reason I’m here. I don’t want to just go to the playoffs. I want to win the whole thing. I think we’ve got a good chance here.”

This is exactly in line with what Gonzo told me back in early May. It’s hard to blame him that he’s taking things year to year at this point in his career.

Beyond his talent, longevity and class, one thing I’ve come to appreciate about Gonzalez is his honesty. He has never hidden the fact that he wanted out of KC so that he could have a better chance to win a Super Bowl and I believe him when he says that career milestones, money and glory aren’t motivating him right now. The only reason he’s still playing at his age and after all the physical abuse he has taken throughout the years is because he wants to win a Super Bowl.

Gonzalez is a fitness and nutrition buff, so there’s no question that he could play well into his late 30s. Whether or not he wants to keep playing is another topic of discussion but as of right now, he’ll give it hell with the Falcons this year and then re-assess the situation at the end of the season.

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Gonzo struggling to adapt in Atlanta?

In Chris Mortensen’s training camp preview of the Atlanta Falcons, Tony Gonzalez admits that he’s struggling to adapt to his new surroundings.

“I’ll admit I’m still somewhat uncomfortable,” said Gonzalez. “I’m learning a new offense, I’m making new friends, learning a new freeway system. All the things going into switching teams, I’m going through it right now and it’s kind of tough, like being a rookie all over again.”

Is that a good or bad thing?

“I think it’s going to help make me a better player,” said Gonzalez.

“You get in a whole new system, I’m blocking more at the point of attack, I have different route-running schemes and I’m working with a new quarterback. I think that helps you grow. When you’re uncomfortable like that, or taken out of your element, you either adapt to it or you don’t. When you see the talent on this team, you are motivated to adapt.”

Gonzalez is the consummate pro, so chances are he’ll eventually settle into his new situation and be productive. And considering the amount of time he spent in Kansas City, it’s understandable that it’s taking a while to get adjusted in Atlanta.

But considering the amount of blocking that he’s going to do in Atlanta’s offense, he might not have the kind of impact that many thought he would when the Falcons traded for him earlier this offseason. That’s not to say that he won’t be effective; he just might not tear up the stat sheet in Atlanta like he did for so many years in KC.

That said, he’s still going to be a security blanket for quarterback Matt Ryan, especially in the red zone and on third downs.

Gonzo was the top TE last season, but changing teams is never easy, so for that reason I believe that Jason Witten and Antonio Gates — who have had more consistency this offseason — are primed to outscore Gonzalez. Plus, the Chiefs were trailing for most of 2008, and that lends itself to catches and yards in garbage time. The Falcons should be leading games in the second half, so that means more Michael Turner and less Gonzo.

Falcons trade 2010 second round pick to Chiefs for Gonzalez

According to, the Falcons traded their second round pick in the 2010 draft to the Chiefs in exchange for tight end Tony Gonzalez.

This deal works well for all parties involved. The Falcons wanted to give quarterback Matt Ryan a target that could attack the middle of the field in the passing game and presumably didn’t want to use their first round pick on a tight end prospect like Brandon Pettigrew with so many needs on the defensive side of the ball.

Gonzalez made it obvious after last season that he didn’t want to play for a team in rebuilding mode. While Atlanta still has a long ways to go in filling holes on the defensive side of the ball, its postseason run last year indicates that they have enough talent to win now – especially on the offensive side of the ball.

At 33 years old, Gonzo is no spring chicken but he hardly shows signs of slowing down after hauling in 96 receptions for 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. And that was with Tyler Thigpen taking most of the snaps under center. He might not be as involved in the Falcons’ offense as he was in Kansas City because Atlanta relies so much on Michael Turner and the running game, but he no doubt makes Ryan and receivers Roddy White and Michael Jenkins better around him.

The Chiefs wanted a second round pick as compensation for Gonzo and although they didn’t get it for this year’s draft, they ultimately got what they were asking for. And considering the Falcons have never had back to back winning seasons in franchise history, there’s a good chance that their second round pick will be higher next year than it is this year.

Eagles jump ahead of Falcons in Gonzalez trade talks

According to’s Don Banks, the Eagles have jumped ahead of the Falcons in the Tony Gonzalez trade talks.

• The buzz about the Chiefs resuming their attempts to trade veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez has re-started, and it sounds as if the Eagles might have nosed ahead of the Falcons as the most likely trade partner. Philly is thought to be willing to give up a third-rounder for Gonzalez. But Kansas City is seeking at least a second-round pick for a player it considers a future Hall of Famer, and may not be willing to bear the brunt of any criticism that could come if it’s perceived to have given away Gonzalez too cheaply.

Considering the Falcons vehemently denied that they were interested in Gonzalez, Banks’ report shouldn’t surprise anyone. There is a lot of speculation that Philly is interested in Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew at No. 21, so it makes sense that they would be willing to give up a third rounder for a proven commodity like Gonzalez. (Although I don’t know if a third round pick would be enough to acquire him.)

I went into more detail about the Gonzo-trade talks yesterday. You can read it here.

Will the Chiefs trade Tony Gonzalez by draft weekend?


One of the more interesting situations that has been brewing for the past couple months is what the Chiefs are going to do with tight end Tony Gonzalez, who appears to desperately want out of Kansas City.

Since February of this year, several media publications have speculated that Gonzalez has made it clear that he doesn’t want to be a Chief any longer. Yet every time a new rumor hits the web, Gonzo usually denies the claim within a few days.

But he failed to report to KC’s voluntary minicamp last Saturday and his absence would seem to indicate that he does want out, or else why wouldn’t he be spending this time getting acquainted with new quarterback Matt Cassel? Gonzo is the consummate pro, so even though the workouts are voluntary, one would think that he would want to spend as much time as possible getting in sync with Cassel.

New GM Scott Pioli has already stated that he doesn’t feel obligated to trade Gonzalez this offseason, yet he might consider it if the right deal comes along this weekend during the draft. Several teams could use Gonzalez’s services, most notably the Falcons (who have already been linked to Gonzo-internet rumors, although they proved to be false), Bills, Jets, Eagles and Browns.

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