Right now there is a huge buzz going on about Tony Gonzalez being traded to the Falcons. Last night I was watching a program and they said that the trade would be a second rounder to KC for Gonzalez. They also reported that they didn't think the deal would go through because KC didn't want to part with Gonzalez and figured he would be a big help to newly acquired quarterback Matt Cassel. According to the report, Atlanta was chomping at the bit to make the trade a reality.
Today I saw a video on NFL.com saying the deal was 80-85% happening and Gonzalez has already cleared out his locker at KC. There are always conflicting reports going on in the sports world so who knows? Here's my take on the situation and whether it will happen or not.
No one will argue that Tony Gonzalez isn't a good player...his numbers and consistency speak for themselves. Last year Tony had 96 receptions for 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Now let's talk about the good of this trade. Last year teams stacked the box defensively against the Falcons to stop the run. Atlanta was still able to run on some of the teams but was shutdown from time to time. If you add TG to the mix he is not only a pass threat but can be a deep threat. With the addition of TG to the passing game and his ability to help with blocking, it would seem hard for teams to stack the box against them. Adding Gonzalez to an already lethal offense will only make it more potent.
Now the potential bad of the situation. Tony is headed into his thirteenth NFL season and is 33 years old. A second round pick seems like a lot to give up for a guy who is on the downhill slide. How many good years does he have left in the tank?
If Atlanta thinks they need a tight end that badly then why not draft young and talented Brandon Pettigrew in the first round (that is if he is still available when the Falcons pick at #24)? Then you possibly have a talented tight-end for years to come and not something that you'll have to replace after two or three years. The one drawback to that is Gonzalez is a proven commodity and Pettigrew isn't. Also, Gonzalez would probably have a more immediate impact than Pettigrew.
Some other bad that comes to mind is why the Falcons would spend a second round draft pick on a TE when they have so many holes to fill? No doubt the Falcons brass have a better idea of what they need and don't than we do but it still doesn't make sense to me. With the loss of five starters from the defense the team hasn't done much to address those holes in free agency. The only addition was LB Mike Peterson from Jacksonville. That leaves holes at safety, linebacker, corner, and defensive tackle. Could it be that the Falcons don't have as many holes as it seems? Linebacker Stephen Nicholas could step into a starting role, and Trey Lewis could also resume his role of starting defensive tackle. The Falcons will also be getting CB Von Hutchins back from injury and he may also be a potential starter.
Conventional thinking would lead me to believe the Falcons would draft a linebacker in the first round and a safety in the second. The only way I would see the Falcons pursuing this is if they plan on trading down in the draft and getting two second rounders for their first round pick. This would mean they could pick up three potential starters in the second round. They could possibly net a LB, safety, and a defensive lineman or corner. If not it seems that Atlanta may be putting too much faith in their drafting abilities.
Will the trade happen? No doubt Gonzalez would love to leave Kansas City and go to a team that could contend next season. There's also no doubt that Atlanta needs help at tight end but is this where that help needs to come from? I personally hope this trade does not happen but if it does I'll stand behind the Falcons brass because so far they haven't steered wrong. Think about this...last year due to a huge run on tackles in the first round Atlanta had to trade one of it's second round picks to trade up and get Sam Baker. How much would that extra second round pick helped the team last year? Potentially another starter? How much would another starter on defense have helped the Falcons last season? Maybe they would have been in the Superbowl...you never know. Basically the point here is a second round pick can go a long way and tight end is a much smaller hole than the ones the Falcons have on defense.
Since the draft is less than two weeks away we will see pretty quickly if this trade happens. Hopefully Dimitroff, Smith, and the rest of the crew know what they're doing...could last year have been another fluke like 2005 (Jim Mora experiment...let's see how bad Seattle is this year)?