KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The idea of the Chiefs trading for tight end Tony Gonzalez made plenty of sense from Kansas City’s point of view, was fun to talk about and stirred the sentiment of fans who wanted to see his Hall of Fame career end where it started.
The problem was, it was never close to being a reality. A potential trade made no sense for the Atlanta Falcons, who were always better off keeping Gonzalez for the last half of the season rather than dumping him for a low-round draft pick.
“We owe it to our owner, our fans, our coaches and our players to win as many games as possible, and we believe that we have the pieces to be a good football team,” Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We know we have dug ourselves a hole, but together we can dig ourselves out and that is what we are focused on.”
The Falcons are 2-5 and won’t be making the playoffs either as the NFC South champions or as a wild-card entrant. But injuries have stripped quarterback Matt Ryan of his best receivers other than Gonzalez. The Falcons simply couldn’t afford to leave Ryan with no reliable receivers.
So assuming Gonzalez makes good on this year’s retirement promise, you have nine games left to go watch him one last time in person. You could catch Gonzalez at home in Atlanta or on the road for games in Carolina, Tampa, Toronto, Green Bay or San Francisco.
But you won’t see him in Kansas City.