Tony Gonzalez Open To Trade Out Of Atlanta
By Allen Kim
The NFL trade deadline is fast approaching, and the Atlanta Falcons have a major decision to make: Do they stand pat and keep Tony Gonzalez, or do they do the right thing and trade him to a contender so he gets one last chance at winning a ring?
"I totally understand it," Gonzalez told ESPN. "Everybody out there needs to understand that I'm not naive to it. I see it, too. This is the last [nine] weeks of my career. And right now, things are looking ... you never know.
"But, like I said, I love my guys on this team too much to go ask for a trade. It would be something that would come from them where they said, 'Hey, it makes sense because we could get something good for you and send you to a team that's a contender.' So I understand the thought process behind that."
Gonzalez has been the consummate professional throughout the Falcons’ abysmal season, and this is the first time all year that he has entertained the idea of playing for another team. He has made it clear that he is finally going to retire after this season, and the Falcons organization would be doing him a disservice by not trading him away.
With a 2-5 record, Atlanta’s chances of making the playoffs are all but out of reach, and retaining Gonzalez when he returned in an attempt to make a run at a Super Bowl would be disrespectful. Gonzalez won’t demand a trade, but publicly stating that he’s open to a move is more or less the same thing.
The Falcons would be wise to trade Gonzalez now and get back a draft pick that could help them in the future. There’s little incentive for the team to hold onto Gonzalez now, and their stubbornness to even entertain the idea is perplexing.
Gonzalez reacted to Fox Sports’ Jimmy Johnson stating that the Falcons should ask him if he wants to play for a contender, saying, "When Jimmy Johnson says that it would be respectful of [the Falcons], I see that. And like I said, if that's something they wanted to do and they asked me, then, yeah, I would listen to them, of course. Yes, I would sit down with them.
“You've always got to listen to them in anything. I don't care if you're not open to it or [are], you still listen and see what's up.”
Gonzalez could not make it any clearer that he would like to be dealt to a contender. There are a number of teams that could use his services, and it would be fitting for him to return to the Kansas City Chiefs to make one last run at a title with his old team.
"We'll know by  o'clock tomorrow," Gonzalez said. "But, like I said, I'm not going to be the one to go asking for a trade. It will have to come from them."