Former Kansas City Chiefs all-pro tight end Tony Gonzalez has been in the news quite a bit over the last couple of days. Yesterday, ,as my co-editor Ben Nielsen told you, Gonzalez told ESPN that he informed Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Fox and general manager Thomas Dimitroff that he would be open to a trade this past season when it was apparent the Falcons’ season was a lost cause.
Whether it was pride or plain old stupidity, Fox and Dimitroff held onto the “Ageless Wonder” and now Gonzalez will fade into retirement and the Falcons have nothing to show for it.
Today, Tony “G” is back in the news claiming his former quarterback Matt Ryan is NOT an elite QB.
“Matt’s an excellent quarterback,” Gonzalez said, via ESPN.com, “But he’s not elite. He’s this close. He’ll get there, but he has some learning to do.”
While I agree wholeheartedly with Gonzalez’s evaluation of Ryan’s talent at the quarterback position, I’m not so sure that Tony is the best person in the league to evaluate who is elite and who is not. I say this considering who has thrown Tony “G” the ball over his 16-year career.
Since entering the league in 1997, Gonzalez has caught passes from no-less than 15 quarterbacks. That’s nearly one per year. Those names include good quarterbacks like Trent Green, Rich Gannon, Elvis Grbac and yes, even Matt Ryan. However, the list also includes names like Todd Collins, Tyler Thigpen, Chris Redman and a Chiefs favorite, Brodie Croyle.
My point here is, Gonzalez has never played with an elite quarterback, so how would he know what one is?
Everyone has their own system of quarterback evaluation and a basis to judge who is elite and who isn’t. However, by anyone’s system of evaluating pure QB talent, Gonzalez – in all of his 16 great years – has never caught a pass from an elite QB, unless it was during a Pro Bowl game.
The bottom line here is, Tony “G” has quite obviously reached the end of his road. He should fade away quietly, take a year off and then come back and sit at the table with Michael Irvin, Kurt Warner and Warren Sapp and debate football every Sunday.
What he shouldn’t do is give fans hope he might come back and knock his former teammates while they’re still trying to play football.
That’s just my two cents, Addicts. What’s yours?