A Tony G return to the Chiefs? Don’t hold your breath, but …
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The buzz on Twitter, on Kansas City sports talk shows, on Chiefs blogs or just about anywhere they’re talking Chiefs football this week is the wild speculation that somehow Tony Gonzalez will wind up a Chief again this season.
No one is confirming any trade talks between the Chiefs and Falcons, but there is logic, of course, for a trade to unfold from the Chiefs’ end.
The Chiefs are 5-0 but have had all kinds of injury issues at the tight end position. Tony Moeaki, a third-round pick in 2010, had talent but could not stay healthy, and was finally waived this preseason. Veteran Anthony Fasano continues to battle assorted injuries and can’t get on the field. This year’s third-round pick, Travis Kelce, just had knee surgery Tuesday and seems likely to be out for the year.
That leaves only unheralded Sean McGrath and Kevin Brock to man the position.
In other words, the Chiefs could use Tony G desperately. And even at age 37, Gonzalez continues to be productive for the Falcons: He already has 33 catches for 339 yards and three touchdowns.
Acquiring Gonzalez could be a financial fit — barely — for the Chiefs, who are believed to be about $2.5 million under the salary cap. Gonzalez is owed approximately $2.47 million for the rest of this season.
But, alas, there are some major hurdles to a deal ever happening.
Tony G, whom the Chiefs traded to the Falcons in 2009, told Jay Glazer of FOX Sports that he definitely does not want to be traded.
It also has been reported that the Falcons, even at 1-4, aren’t necessarily ready to quit on the season and start auctioning off veterans.
And then there was Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who dismissed the rumors Wednesday by saying, “Well, (Gonzalez is) on another team. I don’t know where that came from. It’s got to end now because there’s nothing there now.”
Then again, Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, speaking on WHB radio in Kansas City, was asked hypothetically what a Hall of Fame tight end would be worth on the open market.
Dorsey replied, “I’d give him a spot in that stadium one day,” likely referring to Gonzalez getting a spot on the Ring of Honor at Arrowhead Stadium.
But then asked if a draft pick would be fair compensation, Dorsey replied, “I’m awfully frugal with my draft picks.”
Naturally, at least one Chiefs player was all for the idea of acquiring Gonzalez.
“I’d love to have him back here,” cornerback Brandon Flowers told FOX Sports Radio on Tuesday. “He was definitely a pro. He taught me how to be a pro in this locker room. He’s a great guy to have on your team. I’d welcome him back with open arms.”
There also would be a certain irony if the Chiefs in fact were able to deal for Gonzalez, who became disgruntled with the Chiefs’ rebuilding process five years ago and asked to be dealt to a Super Bowl contender.
The Falcons and Gonzalez got to the NFL title game last season before falling to the 49ers, but now seem somewhat of a long shot to even make the playoffs at 1-4. The Chiefs, meanwhile, could be Tony G’s ticket to a possible Super Bowl.
But Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson isn’t holding his breath that a deal will happen.
“I have a ton of respect for Tony,” Johnson told FOXSportsKansasCity.com. “But that’s a situation …. I don’t even know what to say about that situation because who knows what might happen? I just have to focus on the Raiders this week and not think about things like that.”
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email firstname.lastname@example.org.