As deadline passes, Gonzalez remains

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Now the Atlanta Falcons can move forward without the Tony Gonzalez trade rumors being a distraction.

The Falcons, as expected, did not move the veteran tight end before Tuesday's 4 p.m. trade deadline, meaning Gonzalez is destined to finish his final NFL season in Atlanta. The 37-year-old Gonzalez opted not to retire with hopes of winning a Super Bowl this season, but that opportunity looks far-fetched based on his team's 2-5 start.

There were media-and-fan-driven rumors connecting Gonzalez to Kansas City so he could chase an elusive Super Bowl ring with the undefeated Chiefs. He seemed flattered by the talk but maintained his allegiance to the Falcons throughout the process.

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said he was unaware of all the trade talk surrounding Gonzalez. Regardless, Koetter is happy to have Gonzalez still in the fold.

"In a season where we've had a lot of injuries, Tony is just such a solidifying player,: Koetter said Tuesday. "He comes to work. He prepares the same every week. He does his job. I'm sure Tony is a little frustrated with some of the coverages he's facing. But I look at that as a sign of repect that he's given by the other teams' defenses.

"As I said earlier in the year, we've got to enjoy Tony while we can because this is it."

Gonzalez is second on the team with 38 catches fdor 395 yards. He leads the Falcons with three touchdown receptions.

As head coach Mike Smith promised, the Falcons did not make any trades before Tuesday's deadline.