Dec 16, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) celebrates a touchdown in the first half against the New York Giants at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Gonzalez Is Not Coming to Kansas City


Things are not looking good in Atlanta, where they are now 1-4 and well behind undefeated New Orleans for first place in the NFC South. On top of that, the Falcons still have games left against Seattle, New Orleans, Green Bay, and San Francisco. Considering they can’t even beat the Jets maybe losses to teams like Buffalo and Washington are not out of the question either.

Atlanta’s misfortunes have led some Kansas City fans to wonder if Tony Gonzalez may be available in a trade. The match up makes sense given the lack of weapons in the Chiefs passing offense and the injuries to Anthony Fasano, Travis Kelce, and Tony Moeaki. Gonzalez could be a significant part of a playoff push for the Chiefs.

Here’s the problem: It’s not happening.

Everything begins and ends with money. Gonzalez is owed $14 million in a two-year deal, but the second year is for accounting purposes and not because the future Hall of Famer plans to play another year. All of this comes down to a cap number of about $5.25 million.

Sportrac has the Chiefs with $3,003,609 in space remaining, and they had to restructure Brandon Flowers and Ryan Succop‘s contracts in order to open up that space.

So what would the Chiefs have to do to open that space? Cut someone. It would have to be a significant cut. Kansas City would need around $3 million available to sign a free agent should there be an injury. Also, KC would need some space to sign someone to replace the player or players they cut.

This means general manager John Dorsey would have to clear out about $5 million in cap space in order obtain Gonzalez’ contract. Who would the Chiefs have to cut open up that kind of space? There are only two options:

Tamba Hali or Alex Smith.

Those are the only two players the Chiefs could cut that would open up enough cap space without cutting five or six medium salary players. Cutting either of those players would be dumb.

There is another option the Chiefs to obtain Gonzalez. The scenario would involve Atlanta cutting Gonzalez, Gonzalez clearing waivers, and then KC signing Gonzalez to a free agent contract that would be cap friendly. Not only is Gonzalez not getting cut or clearing waivers, he may also choose not to sign with the Chiefs.

There are two reasons why Gonzalez may not want to sign with Kansas City.

One, Gonzalez may choose to play for a team with a better shot at making the Super Bowl. Let’s take off our Chiefs-colored glasses here and acknowledge that a team like Denver has a better shot to make the Super Bowl than the Chiefs. Adding Gonzalez to that roster for the league minimum would virtually be a free Super Bowl ring for Denver and Gonzalez.

Two, Gonzalez may not want to play for Kansas City. He did leave on unwelcome terms with the Chiefs organization, which could mean he doesn’t want to return. Some cuts are just too deep to heal.

It is always possible there can be some manipulation of the cap by restructuring more contracts, making a minor cut, and getting a little help from Atlanta. This is to say it is not impossible for a trade to happen, but the odds are heavily against a deal happening because there are so many moving parts.

There is nothing wrong with dreaming and hoping it will get done. However, reality is less kind in this situation.

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs Tony Gonzalez

  • Cheifs fan

    Don’t want him back. He’s past his prime, we’re good without him anyways.

    • d-block

      What kind of Chiefs fan misspells Chiefs? TG is light years ahead of any TE we have.

      • Cheifs fan

        Haha, good catch. But “misspells”? Kettle is calling the pot black…

  • Justin

    This article is incorrect in that we would have to release someone to sign TG, Don’t let anyone tell you it wouldn’t work financially. It would be a tight squeeze, but the Chiefs have about $2.5 million of available salary cap room. Gonzalez’s base salary this season is $3.5. He’s due 12 more paychecks this season, so that adds up to a tidy $2.471 million.

    • Paul

      Nice copy and paste job.

    • Ben Nielsen

      Salary numbers and cap numbers are two different things Teicher… er… Justin.

    • Stephen Jo

      You ready the espn story….

  • Chris Foosman

    If I we were Super Bowl or bust, or even just vying for respectability, I’d say sign him. The Chiefs are getting better every week and are building for the future. Gonzalez is done after this year. Let him play it out as a Falcon. It’s best for both at this point.

  • jayhwk01

    TG is nowhere near past his prime. He looks like he could play another 3 years. He is better than ever.
    I could see him going somewhere in a playoff type run but five games in is way way to early for Chief fans to be thinking about buying playoff tickets or Falcoln fans to think about throwing in the towel.
    Also, Tony G is clearly an Atlanta guy now. Outside of KC most people think if him as a Falcon and he probably goes into the hall as an Atlanta guy.

    • Jacob Crouse

      2 things here; 90% of teams that start 5-0 make the playoffs. 2, Hall of Fame Inductees are only inducted as a player not with a team so to speak.

      • jayhwk01

        Your 90% Stat is correct…..and it is still too early for either team to know what their season will be.

        And yes the HOF does not elect players by team or choice specifically. I should have been more specific so I will explain. So I ask you do you think of Montana as a Niner or Chief? E. Smith as a Bronco or Cowboy. I think the perception is certainly by team and really my point was in only 5 years I think outside of KC most t think of TG as a Falcon more so than a KC guy.

    • Stephen Jo

      If he went to Denver, I wouldn’t welcome him back to retire here in KC. He left for his own selfish reasons. He wanted a playoff win. Big f*ing deal. Well, the Chiefs fans didn’t? And he gets a fat check to ease HIS pain. Poor guy…..
      He can stay and retire in Atlanta. He wouldve been here now, enjoying a 5-0 record and this offense wouldve been a force with him at TE. Now he is a cellar dweller again. Espn wrote up a nice article on this today. Said it would make sense, as long as he promised not.to.pout, if he didn’t get the ball. They were calling.him a threat to our locker room. What a rep you have now, TG…

      • jayhwk01

        that gate swings both ways. He could have also spent the last 5 years in KC being miserable and missing his ONLY appearance in a playoff win. I can’t say I have heard anybody including Tony G. playing the poor me card.

        The idea that if he was ever a Bronco somehow he is a leper or a turncoat is silly. He did what any great player who has played on god awful teams year after year does….go for a championship.

  • Stephen Jo

    Jayhwk01
    That’s not a turncoat? Its called LOYALTY. I hope you have it in your life. Sounds like you don’t understand the meaning. TG was the toast of this town. Mr. Kansas City. The Chiefs turned into the Titanic and he jumped in front of the women and children. He got sand in his vag because he flew all his family out to see him break a record at Arrowhead and Herm was trying to win a game. He was PISSED. the Hunts made him a multimillionare. Gets to retire at 38. I know PLENTY of Chiefs fans….TRUE Chiefs fans….that never left and it cost us ticket prices and merch purchases. We never stopped supporting. All or none. We didn’t run to another team.
    Soooo, Denver….IF he went to our AFC West bitter rival, won a Superbowl, and came to Arrowhead to retire a Chief the next season to retire, he should get slaps on back in celebration? You need to grab a Webster’s and refresh the meaning of LOYALTY

  • Stephen Jo

    Tony hasn’t played the “poor me” card?!?! Lmfao
    All he DOES is whine and cryyyy abouthow he hasn’t got to achieve this or that. You aren’t even worth debating

    • jayhwk01

      “All he does is whine and cry” I am sure you have some links to audio or video. I will check back for them later.

  • Travis Forsyth

    Well when you put that way, piss on it, Gonzalez is old any way, no doubt one of my favorite players, put still he’s not worth cutting one of our best defensive players and besides McGrath and Brock are doing great while Fasono and Kelcie are out…GO CHIEFS!! AND SERVES YOU RIGHT FOR LEAVING US GONZALEZ!! SHOULD’VE STAYED IN KC!!

  • Pingback: KC Headlines: Tony Gonzalez, Brain Injuries, Blind Goal - KC Kingdom - A Kansas City Sports Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinions and More

  • Pingback: 2013 NFL Trade Deadline: A Kansas City Chiefs Fan's Wishlist - KC Kingdom - A Kansas City Sports Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinions and More