The final weeks of Tony Gonzalez' career could take a serious turn on Tuesday afternoon. It all depends on whether or not the Falcons are willing to move him in a deal. And, Monday, for the first time, Gonzalez expressed a willingness to accept a deal.
The future Hall of Famer told ESPN.com that "I totally understand" the trade rumors but reiterated he would never ask for a trade.
"I totally understand it," Gonzalez told ESPN.com late Monday night. "Everybody out there needs to understand that I'm not naive to it. I see it, too. This is the last [nine] weeks of my career. And right now, things are looking ... you never know.
"But, like I said, I love my guys on this team too much to go ask for a trade. It would be something that would come from them where they said, 'Hey, it makes sense because we could get something good for you and send you to a team that's a contender.' So I understand the thought process behind that."
Gonzalez added that if a trade was "something [the Falcons] wanted to do" then the would "listen" to them.
But it sure sounds like the big sticking point on a possible Gonzalez deal isn't the tight end but actually the Falcons. Coach Mike Smith said Tuesday there is "no consideration at all" for any possible dump trades before the deadline.
"No consideration of that at all," Smith said.
We'll see whether Smith is being entirely accurate come Tuesday afternoon. A Gonzo trade makes sense in a vacuum. He can chase a ring and the Falcons can get something in return for him. But it would send a bad message to the fanbase (and the rest of the team), it would leave Matt Ryan with no reliable targets and it's entirely possible the Falcons can't get anything worthwhile in return for Gonzalez on a nine-week rental.