Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) could be headed elsewhere as trade deadlines near. (USA TODAY Sports: Dale Zanine)
Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is operating with a self-imposed career deadline, but Tuesday’s trade deadline holds no real significance for the veteran.
Gonzalez, who decided to put off retirement plans by coming back to the Falcons one more season to chase a Super Bowl ring, said yet again that he is glad to be in Atlanta, despite the team’s 2-5 record.
Speculation began when the Falcons dipped to 1-4 that Gonzalez might make sense for several contenders — including his former team, the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs — who could fill a need and help Gonzalez fulfill his career with a championship. The Green Bay Packers, who lost Jermichael Finley for the season with a bruised spinal cord, and Indianapolis Colts — wide receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end Dwayne Allen are on injured reserve — are contenders with a need at the position.
“If it’s something they asked me to do … I would listen to them, of course,” Gonzalez told ESPN on Monday. “You’ve always got to listen to them in anything. I don’t care if you’re not open to it or (you are), you still listen and see what’s up.”
FOX NFL analyst Jimmy Johnson said last week it would be the respectful thing to do for the Falcons. Gonzalez, who is owed $3.7 million for the 2013 season, said he understands the statement but would never request a trade.
“Obviously, I’d rather win. That makes it a lot more fun, but there is no way I would even think about jumping ship. I love playing for this team. I love playing for this city. Like I said, we still got a chance, too. If I start thinking like that, I think we wouldn’t have a chance and I’m not there yet. Not even close.”
Gonzalez, 37, remains productive for the Falcons. He has 38 catches for 395 yards with three touchdowns.
“I don’t have any regrets,” he said. “I am still as happy as I can be to be a Falcon. “I know there was trade rumors out there. I didn’t ask for a trade. That wasn’t me. I signed up and this is the team. I came back to play with these guys on the team and I’m enjoying myself win, lose or draw.