But they paid a steep price. Too steep in my mind.
The Falcons gave up a second-round pick in next year's draft for Gonzalez, the veteran tight end they acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs. I still think Gonzalez has two or three good years, but at 33 his best football is behind him.
I'm not sure that's worth a second-round pick. Gonzalez did catch 96 passes last season on a bad team, so for at least the next couple of years he should still be able to play at a high level. The Falcons' tight ends combined to catch 19 passes last season, with Justin Peele leading the way with 15.
So you can see the need. The Falcons might have considered a tight end early in this draft, and that player would not have played to the level of Gonzalez in 2009. That's a fact. But down the road, who knows?
Age and wear and tear are the reason I think the price is high. But who am I to question Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff? Last year, I didn't like his signing of Michael Turner. Boy was I wrong. And I told him I was wrong. We laugh about it now.
This will probably work out that way as well. So far, everything Dimitroff has done has paid off big time.
One more thing: Good luck defending that offense next year with Gonzalez in the middle of the field.