Oct 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) warms up before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons GM Dimitroff explains decision to keep Tony Gonzalez


Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said he wouldn’t ask for a trade but said he’d be open to a move to a contender. Some NFL fans even thought the right thing to do would be to trade Tony Gonzalez to a contender, but ultimately, the Falcons decided to keep Gonzalez.

In fact, the struggling Falcons didn’t trade any of their players.

“We are confident in our roster and our football team,” Dimitroff told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  “We are all aware that we have not gotten the results that we want so far, but I believe in our coaches and players.”

“We owe it to our owner, our fans, our coaches and our players to win as many games as possible, and we believe that we have the pieces to be a good football team,” Dimitroff said.  “We know we have dug ourselves a hole, but together we can dig ourselves out and that is what we are focused on.”

Trading away pieces could’ve been viewed as a ‘white flag’ or a sign that the Falcons were giving up on the season after a 2-5 start. The Browns traded starting running back Trent Richardson and went on a three-game win streak so that isn’t necessarily always the case. It was more about the Falcons culture though.

“As an organization we have three reasons why we do not believe in in-season trades,” Dimitroff said.  “There is often times a reason why some players are available via trade in-season, and that does not always fit with our team-building philosophy.

“The second reason has to do with scheme-fit and the ability to pick up the system in time to contribute during that season. Often times, it can take a player a couple of weeks to get comfortable with the system and sometimes even longer. You would have to be completely confident that the player would be able to step in and play right away. Most of the time, that is not the case.

“The final piece in trades involves compensation, and that is something that we are always very mindful of.”

Tags: Atlanta Falcons Tony Gonzalez

  • http://lerner-reports.tumblr.com/ JBL918

    Not letting Tony Gonzalez go back to Kansas City was a terrible PR move by Atlanta. It made them look like totally dishonorable, egotistical pricks, who coaxed a future Hall of Famer into coming back for one more shot at a Superbowl, then failed to deliver a team that could make that happen and refused to let him go play for one that actually could. A team he spent 12 seasons playing for, and has an exemplary relationship with. Despite all of this, I vowed to withhold judgement. Afterall I didn’t REALLY know what went into making the decision. Perhaps Kansas City didn’t want him back? It could have been anything. By speaking out on the matter, however, Dimitroff has confirmed that, no, the reason they didn’t make the trade really is just because they are pieces of dog shit.

    Oh, and the comment he made about a players “ability to pick up a new system in time?” Laughable. Not only is Gonzalez a smart and seasoned player enough player to do such a thing, but the timing couldn’t have been more perfect, right before KC’s bye week. Idiot.

    The Falcons gained nothing by keeping Gonzalez. All they did was guarantee him a farewell season of mediocrity and irrelevance.