Atlanta Falcons’ Refusal To Trade Former Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez All About Ego

Oct 27, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) is tackled by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jerraud Powers (25) during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The trade deadline has come and gone and the chants and wishes of “Tony G back to KC” are dead. In all likelihood, Gonzalez will spend the remainder of his final season in the NFL wearing an Atlanta Falcons jersey.

But…it didn’t have to be this way.

This deal boils down to ego, pure and simple. Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff is from the same pedigree as former Chiefs GM Scott Pioli. You hold everything close to the vest and don’t give an inch. The Gonzalez trade to Atlanta was a gentlemen’s agreement in 2009 when Pioli sent him there for a second round pick  at Tony’s request. Tony didn’t want to start over with a new head coach (Todd Haley) a new quarterback (Matt Cassell) and a new scheme. Pioli was happy to oblige because he didn’t want anyone around who didn’t want to be around. As we all know, it’s a process.

Tony wanted to play for a competitor. The Chiefs were at the bottom of the heap in the AFC West and though Tony has been referred to as the “ageless wonder” he wasn’t getting any younger. The Falcons were on their way up. It was the perfect fit for him. Though many Chiefs fans were sad to see him go, I think most of them got it.

But that was 2009. It’s 2013 and the Chiefs are a legitimate contender. They’re 8-0. Since the NFL/AFL merger, every team that has started 8-0 has made the playoffs.

The Falcons are 2-5. Their season is over. I get that it’s only midseason and to admit that would probably frustrate a fanbase, but let’s be real. The Falcons are 2-5 in the same division as the New Orleans Saints and the emerging Carolina Panthers. The Falcons’ best receiving threat in Julio Jones is out for the season. Roddy White hasn’t been healthy all season. Their big offseason acquisition, running back Steven Jackson, has been out most of the year with injury. Barring a miracle, the Falcons will be lucky to go 8-8.

So why not let Tony Gonzalez go?

This is Tony G’s last season. They had to convince him to come back this year. He wanted to retire after last season’s playoff run when the Falcons lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game. But he came back for one last chance at a ring. A chance he may have had (and would have increased) had the egos in Atlanta dealt him. Now, instead of getting a fifth- or sixth-round pick for him, they’ll get nothing but the memories of him dunking over the goal posts.

Of all the things you could’ve taken from your friend Scott Pioli, Mr. Dimitroff, his ego shouldn’t have been one.

Bad business. Bad business, indeed.

Topics: Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, Scott Pioli, Thomas Dimitroff, Tony Gonzalez

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  • kcpauly

    oh well their loss, I would have liked to see TG come home and retire a Chief and have at least a shot at the SB or at least win a playoff game or two with the Chiefs, but it is what it is and we are still 8-0 without him so sorry for your loss TG, would have been pretty cool, but now he can finish his career on a losing team…bummer
    Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Michael Shaw

      So I can guess you fall in with the “you made your bed, now lie in it” group!!!!

      • kcpauly

        Yeah I guess I do at that, he wanted out, now he is out and has to deal with his decision
        Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!

        • David Crockett II

          people who still hold a grudge for someone who gave them everything for years and years on end but never went anywhere or won anything sound silly and childish. You made you bed now lie in line it is getting really old people GROW THE HELL UP!!!

          • Joe Myers

            Sry but after pretty much calling kc boring and then dunking on us at arrowhead T.G can kiss my ass

          • bulldog1982

            Obviously you have no appreciation of loyalty. TG was ALL about himself and didn’t give one sh!t for KC fans.

          • kcpauly

            So is the we need TG bullshit…DEAL WITH IT!!!!
            Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!

        • sidibeke

          He wanted out after meeting Pioli. So did Waters. Seems like good judgement on their part. Think about it. You have a job; you like your job, maybe even love it. A new boss comes in. He’s an absolute A$$. Another company head hunts you to do the same job at the same pay or even a raise, and that company is going places while the one you’re at is near rock bottom and doesn’t seem to be headed anywhere but lower. You take it, right?

          • berttheclock

            Speaking of Waters, have you read Waters appears to be lost for the season in Dallas?

          • Danny W

            Awesome take. I wouldn’t have wanted to play of him for sure.

  • Kyle King


  • Jordan

    I guess( to not let the dream die here) at any point down the line of this season thy can still cut tony if they have any shred of respect for him and he could sign with us but slim chance though

  • ArrowFan

    Could we have paid him had we made the trade?

    • Jason Seibel

      I’m guessing something could have been worked out.

  • redchiefs

    I can’t imagine that John Dorsey was totally against the idea of getting a 3rd tight end who could play as well as Tony G. I don’t know what Dorsey would have been willing to give, but I hope he at least made the phone call to ask if they’d consider trading. Dorsey went out of his way to include himself into the Kingdom, to declare himself one of us. So, it’s too bad the brain trust didn’t think about making the call to KC and seeing what we’d give for Tony to bolster their future. Personally, I’d given a 4th but I doubt Dorsey would have. I wonder if Dorsey would given a 5th, or a 6th and a conditional 6th next year to sweeten the deal. To be part of the Kingdom you’d think for this player, something more than would be in the works, more than just a 5th or 6th…. BECAUSE IT”S TONY GONZALES. TONY GONZALES IS A TIGHT END VERSION OF PEYTON MANNING!

    • fanside

      completely agree.. this is the closest KC has been to the Superbowl and they didnt work to make it happen.

      • redchiefs

        What’s that saying about leading a horse to water but you can’t make him drink….. IF Dorsey made the call to Atlanta, I don’t think Atlanta even picked up the handset and answered. I was just expressing how much I’d liked to see Tony Gonzales finish his career here, this season.

    • berttheclock

      Every report I have read from any area of coverage, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,, ESPN, CBS Sports all wrote the same. No one in the Falcons’ management team ever said they wanted to trade him. They all stood steadfast in saying it was not their philosophy to make trades during the season. I see absolutely no evidence that this fell apart due to Dorsey not upping the ante. The Falcons refused to consider any offer. There was a ton of speculation about several teams floating various players and several teams seemingly interested. When, 1600 hours struck today, there was only one trade and that was between the Eagles and the Pats.

      • redchiefs

        I wasn’t saying Dorsey failed at all, this is just me thinking we should have really gone for Tony. Fasano is back, McGrath has shown he’s a good tight end. Reid can wiggle the offense with the team he has in place now…… I am just disappointed Dorsey didn’t go for Gonzales, make an attempt to get possibly the best tight end to ever play in the NFL. ,On the flip side, you’re absolutely right, the Falcons are reported to have been against listening to offers from the very start of all the rumors and all the public wishes all the Chiefs’ fans posted.

  • berttheclock

    All I really can say about your comments is “Exactly”

    However, I reserve the right to say it multiple times. So, Exactly, Exactly, Exactly, Exactly.

    It was the fault of the “genius” Dimitroff the Falcons have fallen on hard times. He let the team grow old. One thing one would think he would have learned under Belichick is it better to cut a player one year early than one year late. Over the past year and a half, one could see the team lose team speed on defense. He did nothing to adjust for that. Now, he is going to fall back on the excuse he wouldn’t trade Tony G because he didn’t want fans and the rest of the team to think he had given up on the rest of the season. Any so-called “pundit” who claims the Falcons still have a chance has not watched any of their last games. So, now, Tony Gonzalez will have to endure 3 teamers for meaningless games.

    File it under “What could have been” and move on.

  • berttheclock

    Falcons HQ is located in Flowery Branch, GA. Today, part of that branch has become a withered limb.

    • Michael Shaw

      Dimitrioff is old so I am sure his limb has been withered for QUITE some time!!!


    If the Falcons could go back three years, would they have given up a boatload of draft picks for Julio Jones? I rather doubt it. Jones is an outstanding player, but as we now see, he wasn’t the missing piece. He was just one of many. For Dimitrof not to have traded Tony was pure egotism. Or worse, bad judgement. Even a 5th would have been better than nothing. I’m sure that if Tony would speak his mind, he would have loved to come back to the Chiefs. But, he has way more class than the Falcon management, so I don’t expect to hear him mouth off to the press. Tony,Thanks for the wonderful years in KC

  • Jason Seibel

    Maybe since Dimitroff is done NOT taking our calls he can go find some candy wrappers in the stairwell of his facility. I’m sure that’s something else he learned from Scotty Pioli.

    • berttheclock

      At least Good Housekeeping has given their HQ their coveted Seal of Approval.

  • tomflex

    It’s interesting that the Chiefs cut Brock today….there is now a slot open.

    • Chris Tarrants

      That is interesting! So who is left in free agency? They must have a plan? Maybe bring Rico Richardson back?

      • tomflex

        Possibly Commings is ready to come off IR…..Don’t know about anybody else

  • John White

    Thomas Dimitroff you are one piece of work. Why in the world would you let this man leave your piece of $ -hit team. This is ridiculous. KC Chiefs is what made this man into the hall of fame, well his skills is what did. But Tony loves KC and would LOVE to be with them as this is his last year. This piece is work Thomas Dimitroff needs to get ………… Wow – Keeping him for your loosing a$s team. He dont wanna be with you punks

  • berttheclock

    What is illogical about the non-move by Dimitroff is the season will play out, the Falcons will lose more games and Tony Gonzalez will retire without Dimitroff having any compensation for him in next year’s draft which will be an essential rebuilding draft.

  • 44WinMag

    Earth to Forrest…………….that’s not how business works, any business and especially a hyper-competitive business like the NFL. Besides, Gonzalez made his bed when he wanted out of KC.

    • Jason Seibel

      If you think there’s no egos involved in the business of the NFL well…stupid is as stupid does I guess.

      • 44WinMag

        Look Forrest you don’t make business deals based on emotions, especially sympathies for someone who has a contract with you. Players are like any employee; a business asset and that’s it. I’m sure if KC were stupid enough to trade a top pick they would have done it as it would have been to their benefit. TG will probably get his ceremonial 1 day contract with KC if he chooses to retire a Chief; that’s it and he isn’t even really owed that.

        • Jason Seibel

          If you say so dude. I’m not going to argue the point with you.

          • 44WinMag

            Trust me I’ve got 40 years in the Oil and Gas business making deals and engaging with investors on highly profitable, competitive and risky ventures. You don’t make decisions even with family based on your personal feelings for a person. Emotions are for private affairs not business affairs.

          • Joe Myers

            Yeah I’m sure you know what goes on behind the scenes in the nfl !!!! .

          • 44WinMag

            Only Moronic and Childish fans of a team would actually think that a GM who is hired to run the Business of another team should trade a player to their team for “sentimental” reasons with no added benefit to the Business he has been hired to manage and to further suggest in not carrying out the moronic fans wishes is “Bad Business”.

  • Jim Harper

    I can’t believe so many are beating this dead horse. You all act like it is the end of the world that we did not get Tony back. Let me remind everyone of one little fact. The Chiefs are 8-0 and accomplished that without Tony G. On top of that many are more than willing to give up multiple draft picks to get him for 8 lousy games. That is what I call “Bad Business”.

    • Davé

      That’s what I call a dumb ass argument. The Tony trade would have made us MUCH better. You don’t believe that you are an idiot.

      • Jim Harper

        It was not an argument jackass. All you ever really offer up is calling people names. Easy to do while hiding behind the picture of a cute kid, or is that you? Of course Gonzales makes this team better, but not at the cost of draft picks for 8 games. Apparently Dorsey felt the same way because nothing happened. The Falcons made it clear they had no interest in trading him, so the fact that you are still crying about it tells me who the dumb ass is.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Yup. They just became the unofficial 5th member of the AFC West. I wish famine and destruction upon that organization now.

  • Davé

    Yea Atlanta was pretty stupid for holding on to him. You can even read between the lines, Gonzales wanted out IMO. I know you cant admit defeat but seriously? As if they have any chance of making a run? Oh well Tony got his wish and now will join Dan Marino as seriously one of the best ever without a ring. Now I just hope we go win a superbowl without him.

  • berttheclock

    Having read many comments left on a thread at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the vast majority of Falcons’ fans posting wanted to see the trade. One point made by many is Dimitroff could have obtained draft picks. Several thought Dimitroff should pack up and go back up North. It reminded me of reading the many comments at the Star demanding a certain GM to pack up and head East. Something about an arrogance built in to several who have left New England. They really have problems relating to the locals. They keep forgetting they had forgotten to pack Brady in their travel bags.

  • Mike Diel

    Of coarse they wanted to keep TG. The difference in finishing 8-8 and 4-12 is the difference of having a job or not for the coaches and front office. If Pioli traded Jamaal Charles for a draft pick in the middle of last year, because face it “2012 is a lost cause”, he would have lost his job before the end of the season.

  • Guest

    Tony bailed on us when the going got tough. He signed his contract got his money then whined that he “wanted to play for a contender”. Now he wants to bail on Atlanta. He’s a self centered disloyal douche. Screw him. He made his bed and as a Chief’s fan, I think he can just wear that Falcons jersey on into Canton. Who needs him.

  • bulldog1982

    Tony bailed on us when the going got tough. He signed his contract got
    his money then whined that he “wanted to play for a contender”. Now he
    wants to bail on Atlanta. He’s a self centered disloyal douche. Screw
    him. He made his bed and as a Chief’s fan, I think he can just wear that
    Falcons jersey on into Canton. Who needs him.

  • Bobby Braswell

    From the perspective of a Falcons fan, I wanted to see the trade for TG’s sake. He is generally considered a class act by fans here. OTOH, keeping him in ATL may keep Matt Ryan from being killed as there are still 9 games left in the season (ugh). And yeah, Dimitroff has done a poor job at providing depth through the draft. I am done with him.

  • steven8

    Great article Jason… There comes a time when a team needs to face reality… Tony G. will be retiring, came back to win a championship, and that is simply not going to happen with the Falcons this year… Let him go, and retire with the team he started with… And pick up a draft pick as well.. It would be a win, win scenario for all involved… Go Chiefs by the way…

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I’m calm now and realize there was no way Dimitroff could’ve made that trade. That would’ve been a public surrender less than 8 games into the season. Even if he truly believes the Falcons are finished in 2013, he can’t tell everyone in the NFL world they’ve given up.

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