FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Tony Gonzalez is glad to have all the trade talk behind him.
The Atlanta Falcons tight end addressed the trade rumors one final time during Thursday’s open locker room. The Falcons did not move Gonzalez or any other player before Tuesday’s trade deadline.
I’m glad it’s over. Now we can just focus, because if you look at our record right now, things don’t look good. But at the same time, we still have got a chance as far as I’m concerned.
” — Tony Gonzalez, on remaining with the Falcons after the trade deadline
“Like I said before all this even happened, I never asked for a trade. Contrary to what’s been written and what people have said, I never asked for a trade,” Gonzalez said. “All I said was that I would be willing to listen if they had something, if they got an offer … whatever they wanted to do.
“I’m here. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. I’m glad it’s over. Now we can just focus, because if you look at our record right now [2-5], things don’t look good. But at the same time, we still have got a chance as far as I’m concerned. I’ve got nine games left, and we’re mathematically not out of it.”
Gonzalez wouldn’t say directly if he was informed of any trade offers made for him. He said even his family wondered if he might want to finish his career elsewhere.
“It doesn’t matter what happened because I’m here today,” Gonzalez said. “And that’s the reality of it. And that’s a good reality, as far as I’m concerned. I love Atlanta, even the city. Like I said, I’m just glad it’s over with, and it’s time to get back to work.”
Gonzalez said he was aware of the talk coming out of Kansas City that he should be traded to his former team and get an opportunity to chase an elusive Super Bowl ring with the undefeated Chiefs.
“In this day and age, people are going to talk,” Gonzalez said. “A lot of talking heads out there. A lot of people are going to have their take on things, rumors and all this stuff. And I’m part of it too. I hear stuff, and I don’t know if it’s true or not. … Like I’ve tried to do throughout this whole process is just try and focus on what I’m doing and trying to help this team win. … Hopefully we can make a serious run here because that’s what it’s going to take.”
Gonzalez, 37, will retire at the end of the season. The future Hall of Famer has caught a pass in 202 consecutive games. He currently stands second on the team with 38 receptions for 395 yards and leads the Falcons with three touchdown receptions.
- Covered Bears for seven seasons at Chicago Tribune
- Also worked at Chicago Sun-Times, Fresno Bee
- Honorable mention, Football Writers Association of America for enterprise writing, 2002