Dec 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) waves to the fans prior to playing in what is expected to be his final game against the Carolina Panthers at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Tony Gonzalez appeared on Doug Gottlieb’s show today to discuss the feature written about him in ESPN the Magazine. To no one’s surprise, Gonzalez backed off some of the comments he made in the piece. This includes the part of the story where he mentions a discussion with him and the Atlanta Falcons front office about a potential trade.
Here’s what Gonzalez told Gottlieb:
"Gonzalez now finds himself needing to clarify or explain various things – such as the perception that he demanded a trade midseason.“I never asked for a trade, and I said that during the season – and I never would,” Gonzalez said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I would never do that because the Falcons organization – (and) my teammates – have been so good to me. It was a dream come true just being a part of that organization. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve had a blast out there.“But when I did talk to them and I heard that that were teams interested,” Gonzalez continued, “I said, ‘If that’s something you guys are considering, then I’m open to it.’ But I’m not going to come up here and demand anything or ask anything. But if there is something on the table, then yes, of course I’d be willing to listen to it because that’s just rational. Put yourself in my position.”"
For context, here’s what he told ESPN the Magazine:
"“You trade me to a team that needs me, that wants to make a serious run in the playoffs and the Super Bowl. You get something in return for a guy who you know won’t be here next year. And the season isn’t going anywhere anyway. That’s rational.”"
Gonzalez goes from “You trade me to a team that needs me” to “If that’s something you guys are considering, then I’m open to it.” That is a pretty significant leap there.
In the interview Gonzalez also explains why he was upset about not being traded and what he meant by those comments. You can listen to the entire interview here.
It is not surprising Gonzalez would be backtracking today as he’s received heat for comments he made about Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan and his desire to come back in 2014 if Atlanta is making a strong playoff run. His comments sound way more like damage control than correcting errors.
What do you think, Addicts? Did Gonzalez really want out of Atlanta or was he trying to be a team player?