Atlanta Falcons Land Tony Gonzalez
The Atlanta Falcons made a deal today that seems, at least in my opinion, too good to be true. It has me beginning to think that Thomas Dimitroff is not only a phenomenal general manager, but perhaps a miracle worker.
The Falcons get ten-time Pro Bowler, Tony Gonzalez, in exchange for a second round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
If you look at what the Falcons are potentially giving up, it doesn't really seem like much in light of the fact that they are expecting to receive compensatory picks next year for the losses of Domonique Foxworth, Keith Brooking, and Michael Boley—all of whom were signed by other teams this off-season.
Furthermore, they still get to keep all of their picks for this year's draft so that they can begin to shore up their defense.
They need help in the secondary and on the defensive line.
Call me crazy, but I think it's a pretty sweet deal for the Falcons.
It's now fair to say that they will be set at tight end now that Gonzalez is on his way to fill the void that has been apparent since the release of Alge Crumpler in 2007.
The talk of the Falcon's drafting Oklahoma State TE Brandon Pettigrew had begun to resurface in recent days, making it almost certain that they would look to draft offense first.
Pettigrew is the best tight end in this year's draft, but lacks the blocking ability that the Falcons want in their offense for Matt Ryan.
That talk is now over.
Gonzalez will not only supply a big, capable, body to block on passing downs, but he also will be a reliable target for Matt Ryan to throw to at will.
The combined yardage of all the tight ends currently on the Falcon's roster from last season is barely equal to a third of what Gonzalez had in all of last year.
The Chiefs will get a second rounder, which is what new general manager Scott Pioli wanted, and they get an opportunity to see what their receivers can do without having to live in the shadow of Gonzo.
They also need to see what their young tight end, Brad Cottam, can do. He's approaching his third year in Kansas City and at 6'7", 269 pounds, he certainly has the size. He has not played much due to Gonzalez taking a majority of the snaps, but this is the time for him to sink or swim in this offense.
Sean Ryan is another possibility for the Chiefs as it has become clear that the new regime is interested in using the tight end position as more of a blocker than a receiver—Ryan definitely fits that mold.
I don't think either team really loses here.
I would have liked the deal a lot less if the Falcons had given up a player and a pick from this year's draft. That would have been too much for Gonzalez, who has repeatedly said he plans to retire within the next two to three years.
As for Kansas City, who is most certainly in rebuild mode, they get a chance to evaluate their roster next season. They also will see who is going to be a playmaker and where there are bigger holes to be filled, so that next season they can begin to make the moves necessary to get them back on the winning track.
The multiple picks in early rounds will surely help Pioli and company in that effort.
As of now, does this mean the Falcons are a Super Bowl contender? No. They still need to get that defense together and make sure that Matt Ryan doesn't hit a wall next year when he is up against a brutal schedule.
But, you have to admit, it's a start.
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