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Dimitroff addresses decision not to trade Gonzalez

Dimitroff AP

Future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez made clear on Monday his desire to be traded to a contender, saying everything but, “Trade me to a contender.”

Falcons G.M. Thomas Dimitroff has explained why none of his players were traded.

“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.”

Conversely, trading Gonzalez easily could have been viewed by the players left behind as a sign that Dimitroff doesn’t believe in their ability to reverse a 2-5 start and battle for a playoff berth.

“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.”

Dimitroff also explained that, generally speaking, he doesn’t like to make in-season trades that involve players coming to the Falcons.

“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.”

While Dimitroff didn’t completely rule out the possibility of making future in-season trades, his reasoning for not, for example, trading for a receiver to replace Julio Jones makes plenty of sense.  Still, Gonzalez wanted out — and the Falcons held firm.

Apart from demonstrating faith in the players, the Falcons showed the locker room that a separate set of rules doesn’t apply to Gonzalez, who finagled the ability to skip out for a large chunk of training camp when his 95-percent certainty to retire dropped to zero.

(Note to other established veterans:  If you act like the year before your final year will be your final year, you may score some key concessions for your final year.)

But Gonzalez forgot to ask for the one thing no one ever thought he’d need — a promise from Dimitroff that, if the Falcons are fading from contention in late October, they’ll trade Gonzalez to a contending team.

(Note to other established veterans:  Include that request, too.)

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51 Responses to “Dimitroff addresses decision not to trade Gonzalez”
  1. bucrightoff says: Oct 30, 2013 10:49 AM

    Poor Tony, nobody wants to see you go out playing for a 5-11 team.

  2. lightcleric says: Oct 30, 2013 10:49 AM

    I think Dimitroff deserves a lot of heat for this season. As amazing as Julio has been, it’s hard to discount how much impact that trade had on their depth: they traded two 1sts, two 2nds, and a 4th. There’s a lot of holes on this team that could have been filled by those mid-high picks. That’s how you wind up with a makeshift offensive/defensive line and linebacker corps.

  3. mrsmell says: Oct 30, 2013 10:49 AM

    Im confident your getting fired by end of this year too.

  4. realdealsteel says: Oct 30, 2013 10:51 AM

    Falcons should have given up a first round pick for Josh Gordon. Why?? Think about it:

    1. Gonzo won’t be here next year so they’ll need another receiver anyway.

    2. Roddy White is on the other side of his career.

    3. Allows the Falcons to then concentrate solely on defense with the draft.

  5. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 30, 2013 10:52 AM

    tony gonzalez will milk the attention into another contract and repeat until the fans and media come around to see who he truly is….. a low character fraud.

  6. jdubkc says: Oct 30, 2013 10:52 AM

    “trading Gonzalez easily could have been viewed by the players left behind as a sign that Dimitroff doesn’t believe in their ability to reverse a 2-5 start and battle for a playoff berth.”

    That’s it right there. Trading Gonzo would have admitted defeat, which no front office would do publicly. Should have happened… didn’t. At the end of the season, if the Black Birds haven’t turned it around, they will wish they had gotten “something for nothing”, even if it was just a 5th rounder.

  7. thedubixcube says: Oct 30, 2013 10:55 AM

    It’s simple, Dimitroff. Your team isn’t going anywhere this year. Trade Gonzalez to Green Bay for a conditional late round pick. It’s all you’ll get and something is better than nothing. They’ve lost Finley for the year and Gonzalez as a rental will do a lot for Green Bay’s offense.

    Then, turn your focus to Jadaveon Clowney. You need him. More than most. He’ll do far more for your team in terms of getting back to the playoffs than Gonzalez will.

  8. theboneski3 says: Oct 30, 2013 10:55 AM

    “We know we have dug ourselves a hole, but together we can dig ourselves out and that is what we are focused on.”

    Shouldn’t you try to climb out of the hole, rather than digging out of it?

  9. jbaxt says: Oct 30, 2013 10:56 AM

    The Falcons could win out. Said no one ever.

  10. patriottony says: Oct 30, 2013 11:07 AM

    What an awesome player and a classy guy….I’m truly sorry that they would not release you. I’m sure playing down the line from GRONK would have gotten you the ring you wanted. Wish you had picked the PATS a year or two ago….

  11. 87hollywoodhorn says: Oct 30, 2013 11:11 AM

    They didnt trade Gonzales because no one wanted him! Newsflash America, he’s just not good anymore, part of the problem in atlanta, NOT the solution.

  12. 6ball says: Oct 30, 2013 11:15 AM

    .

    Despite the fact that Julio Jones is an outstanding WR, Falcon’s fans will always wonder what if Dimitroff had not traded the 5 picks for one player. There’s a good chance that each would be on the Atlanta roster today.

    .

  13. skooter519 says: Oct 30, 2013 11:16 AM

    They should have traded him to a playoff team so he can go out in style.

  14. ceraser45 says: Oct 30, 2013 11:17 AM

    So what happens when Gordon gets another failed drug test, he is suspended for a year. It is dumb to trade a 1st rd pick for a guy with that much baggage

  15. truths4all says: Oct 30, 2013 11:24 AM

    Of course they could not trade him. If they did, the owner would have fired them on the spot because Dimitroff had sold the ownership that this team was a lock to go to the Super Bowl.

    Of course when you make huge miscalculations like cutting your best pass rusher and letting your offensive line deteriorate (the exact things you should NEVER do) there is no chance to stay at the same top level as the team has proven as they fall apart.

    I can’t wait for the Jags to sign Tebow and end up with more wins than the Falcons.

  16. gayvenator says: Oct 30, 2013 11:25 AM

    I really don’t think they are done yet. What was the redskins record last year when even their coach thought they were done? I don’t believe Carolina, Arizona, Chicago or anyone in the nfc east will be able to sustain success, So if the falcons can string 2 or 3 wins together while everyone else begins to fizzle they are right back in it.

  17. slick50ks says: Oct 30, 2013 11:25 AM

    Dimitroff, another of the many failed Pats castoffs.

    Belichick has the worst tree of ex coaches, execs in the history of the league.

    The greatness of Tom Brady becomes more clear everyday, and his departure will signal the end very soon.

  18. hanifmiller says: Oct 30, 2013 11:26 AM

    I love Gonzalez but closed mouths dont get fed. He would have been within his rights to ask for a trade and I dont think his legacy would have been tarnished. Regardless, what the perception of him might have been his numbers alone are hall of fame numbers.

  19. 12brichandfamous says: Oct 30, 2013 11:28 AM

    What if we take Tony’s remarks as he said rather than twisting them into “trade me.”

    I believe he is content to stay and the Falcons saw no need to trade him. Great player.

    Oh, and for all the people questioning the trade that allowed the Falcons to get Julio, you need to stop debating the past. That decision was made and executed. The real question is what are they going to do in the future?

    Stop obsessing over the past and placing hindsight blame. It benefits no one at this point.

  20. wwwmattcom says: Oct 30, 2013 11:30 AM

    Tony, take your money and enjoy retirement. Or don’t complain and play for the chiefs next year.

  21. freepretzels says: Oct 30, 2013 11:33 AM

    Lousy thing to do, but that’s Dimitroff.

  22. db105 says: Oct 30, 2013 11:43 AM

    The cycle of ups and downs in the NFL. The Falcons had a nice window of opportunity from 2008-2012. Happens to almost all teams in the salary cap era.

  23. salmen76 says: Oct 30, 2013 11:45 AM

    Tony G shoulda stayed with the Chiefs. Plain and simple. He was a goober to think the Falcons were a SB contender. Ha Ha. If i was A Blank i’d fire the whole bunch from the top down and start over with a new staff that can build around M Ryan. Ryan got that new big contract so they might as well keep him. It’s a very “QB deficient” league. So even though Matt isn’t “all that” he is better than more than half of the other QBs in the NFL. As far as Tony getting traded, “cry me a river”! The Falcons executives handled this situation correctly. Kudos to them. Geaux Saints!

  24. whatjusthapped says: Oct 30, 2013 11:48 AM

    Gonzales leaned toward retiring and then came the NFC championship game where they almost made it to the Superbowl. He came back for one reason, to make it to the Superbowl but what he didn’t count on was the Falcons downward spiral to the bottom of the standings.

    His assessment was wrong so he will just have to live with it. Matty Ice (dumb ass nickname but somewhat fitting given he has won a total of one playoff game) is the single most overrated QB in the NFL, Gonzales must have figured that out by now.

  25. arrowhead816 says: Oct 30, 2013 11:51 AM

    Should’ve called it quits after the 1st Falcons playoff run….

    Come sign that one day contract after the season so we can put you up on ring of fame & retire your number.

  26. otis52gsh says: Oct 30, 2013 11:53 AM

    I couldn’t agree more with the comment about trading all those important picks to get Julio. That was insanely stupid.

  27. johnnyjagfan says: Oct 30, 2013 12:00 PM

    Gonzalez is a class act and will always be remembered as such. Marino doesn’t have a ring either. If it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be. But I can count on Tony Gonzalez showing up and playing every game for the rest of this year.

  28. irishgary says: Oct 30, 2013 12:06 PM

    @thedubixcube

    Green Bay would not give anything for this guy at this stage of his career. Probably wouldn’t pick him off of the waiver wire either. Too much of a disruption in the locker room.

  29. thestrategyexpert says: Oct 30, 2013 12:10 PM

    I like the confidence, but this is just not the smart and statistically sound play for the health of the franchise. If they can’t win the SB this year, then Gonzalez could have saved them something for the future. And they are less well leveraged to win the SB this year than they were at the start of the season. Are they for real? Ok well then go win some games I guess. Let’s see how many they win and if they make the playoffs.

    Good luck and congrats if they defy the odds and pull it off. I’ll come back and say I was wrong.

  30. mrlaloosh says: Oct 30, 2013 12:15 PM

    Don’t worry Atlanta fans and taxpayers. That new circus tent is now gonna cost $1.2 BILLION and climbing. Hang on to your wallets! When asked how much the owner would chip in he said “BLANK”. Factory of Sadness South 2. Jacksonville is 1.

  31. gbatap says: Oct 30, 2013 12:19 PM

    So Dmitroff has three rules why he doesn’t like in season trades.

    #1 “There’s a reason why the player is available” – This does not apply because you would be getting a conditional draft pick.

    #2 “The player can’t contribute right away” – You’re getting a conditional draft pick.

    #3 “Compensation” – Any conditional draft pick is more valuable then a guy that isn’t going to help you get to the playoffs this year and that is going to leave you with nothing 8 games from now.

    While I would normally agree dumping good players or players whose contracts are coming up is usually sending the wrong message to the lockerroom, this situation is clearly the exception to the rule. I’m sure everyone would understand why he would do it and how it makes them better in the long run.

  32. travelingwillies says: Oct 30, 2013 12:24 PM

    Tony made his own bed . he knows that every year in the NFL is different. Should have retiredTony

    As for Dimitroff, you can really blame him for this year. Just too many injuries. No team can make up for the Key playees the falcons lost injury
    this team was build around a very good QB and two elite WR.. One of them is gone and the other hasnt played all year. Losing both the left and right tackle has really messed up the chemistry of the line. Both are back up tackles that are starters now. Losing your entire linebacking corps. Having to play 2 undrafted free agents. Not to mention one of those linebackers, weatherspoon was really coming into his own, was their best defensive player, leader and signal caller. Beerman was so versatile, the chess piece for Nolan. So they.lost 2 of their best defensive players, 2 of their best offensive players and 40% of their oline. Cant blame Dimitroff for this season and if Dimitroffs track record is any indication, The falcons will be right back competing next year.

  33. Skol Vikings Skol says: Oct 30, 2013 12:24 PM

    Great, now can you ask Rick Spielman to expain himself? Sounds like he wouldn’t take less than a 2nd round pick for Jared Allen. Which is ridiculous given his age and compensation. What of it, Rick?

  34. travelingwillies says: Oct 30, 2013 12:44 PM

    I bet if you look at every team in the league and list the players they used with the same picks the falcons used for Julio, you would take Julio over 90% of the teams woth those same picks

    TWO 1sts ONE 2nd TWO 4th
    That was the price

    Take the saints fo.r example, they traded a 1st rounder and 2nd for Mark Ingram. Then they grabbed Cam Jordan with the other 1st rounder.
    They didnt have a 4th rounder that year, so lets use their 3rd rounder, cornerback Johnny Patrick(huge bust). Next years 4th: WR Nick Toon(barely has seen the field)

    So somebody with a straight face tell me they would tak a Ingram, Jordan, Patrick, and Nick Toon over Julio Jones.

    You can play those same scenarios out with a lot of teams, and yall would take Julio Do the same thing with the Patriots and Broncos picks. So easy to question the trade when he is on IR. I didnt hear yall questioning it when he was killing the 9ers defense in the llayoffs

  35. travelingwillies says: Oct 30, 2013 12:53 PM

    Mraloosh.. Why are you making stuff up? Stadium cost 1.2 billion. Blank is actually paying 800 million of his own money to the new stadium. 200 million from the NFL and private investments.

    And the other 200 million is coming from a hotal tax so when you saints fans come to Atlanta for our games, you will be helping pay for the new stadium… Preciate that

  36. bigdawg24 says: Oct 30, 2013 12:53 PM

    “We know we have dug ourselves a hole, but together we can dig ourselves out and that is what we are focused on.”

    Sounds a lot like General Custer as the Last Stand.

  37. twilson962 says: Oct 30, 2013 1:13 PM

    The Chiefs are 7-0 without Tony. Maybe, just maybe, the Chiefs didn’t want to offer too much to ALSO rent an aging TE, albeit a local icon.

    It takes two to tango!

  38. FlashPatterson says: Oct 30, 2013 1:32 PM

    Chiefs shoulda came after him. Not necessarily because they need him, just for the novelty of it, I’m no KC fan, but I’d assume it would mean as much as Moss coming back to my Vikings did to me.

  39. mogogo1 says: Oct 30, 2013 1:40 PM

    I absolutely love Tony Gonzalez but I don’t know I would have traded him, either. Would it have been a nice thing to do? Absolutely. But it’s a business. If nobody was willing to part with much of anything for a guy in the final few games of his career, then the Falcons are better off with him. Every once in a while, teams do turn things around and get hot. But that’s much less likely to happen if you start dumping players just to be nice.

  40. skittlesareyum says: Oct 30, 2013 1:40 PM

    travelingwillies says:
    Oct 30, 2013 12:24 PM
    Tony made his own bed . he knows that every year in the NFL is different. Should have retiredTony

    As for Dimitroff, you can really blame him for this year. Just too many injuries. No team can make up for the Key playees the falcons lost injury
    this team was build around a very good QB and two elite WR.. One of them is gone and the other hasnt played all year. Losing both the left and right tackle has really messed up the chemistry of the line. Both are back up tackles that are starters now. Losing your entire linebacking corps. Having to play 2 undrafted free agents. Not to mention one of those linebackers, weatherspoon was really coming into his own, was their best defensive player, leader and signal caller. Beerman was so versatile, the chess piece for Nolan. So they.lost 2 of their best defensive players, 2 of their best offensive players and 40% of their oline. Cant blame Dimitroff for this season and if Dimitroffs track record is any indication, The falcons will be right back competing next year.

    ——————

    A lack of depth is EXACTLY what you blame a GM for. It’s very true the Falcons have been hit hard by injuries, but so have other teams and they haven’t crapped the bed.

    Take, for example, the Packers. Their first round picks from 2011 and 2010 are out, and they both happen to be offensive tackles. They are starting an undrafted and a rookie OT. Randall Cobb, James Jones, and Jermichael Finley have been out for two weeks. For two weeks they’ve started rookie linebackers. Clay Matthews is out for several more weeks. One of their starting RB was put on IR before the season started.

    I could keep going. The point is not to exalt the Packers, but to show that a good GM can work around injuries.

  41. roycecoast says: Oct 30, 2013 1:42 PM

    The last team in a position to hold a HOF TE hostage, was the Chiefs…they were aweful. And out of respect for a player that has always been a stand-up guy, and the only high quality player on the team, they traded him to a superbowl caliber team that would give him a chance at winning a ring. The falcons, now in the same situation, apparently are not too fond of business ethics. Hats off to you atl :) Real Class…less

  42. iamapatsfan says: Oct 30, 2013 2:08 PM

    slick50ks says:
    Oct 30, 2013 11:25 AM
    Dimitroff, another of the many failed Pats castoffs.

    Belichick has the worst tree of ex coaches, execs in the history of the league.

    The greatness of Tom Brady becomes more clear everyday, and his departure will signal the end very soon.

    ——

    While Tom Brady is awesome, you say that BB sucks? After he went 11-5 with Matt effing Cassel? Perhaps the problem isn’t with BB, but that no one in his coaching tree has the same ability to manage what people he has as well as BB does. They all did well under him, and a couple have done well on their own, but most haven’t been near as good as they seemed while under BB. The only common thread is they were great under BB.

  43. doe22us says: Oct 30, 2013 2:43 PM

    mrsmell says:
    Oct 30, 2013 10:49 AM
    Im confident your getting fired by end of this year too.

    Dimitroff is not going anywhere anytime soon, you can definitely book that. How soon some of you ATL fans forget prior to him and Smith coming on board. Rich Mccay and Bobby Petrino, i dont follow much of the Falcons front office dealings but i think they were the ones.

  44. harrycanyon says: Oct 30, 2013 3:35 PM

    All of these people wishing a trade of Gonzalez to the Packers, have to know even if they traded him, it wouldn’t be to a team the falcons play this year. That would be really dumb. If he left it would have been to an AFC team.

    All these trade rumors, were silly this year. NFL is not a league about trades, yet everyone thought everyone was up to be traded this year. Didn’t happen, won’t happen. This isn’t baseball.

    Why would a player want a token trade to a contender where he can spend a few weeks and get a ring that he didn’t really earn? Seems cheap.

  45. travelingwillies says: Oct 30, 2013 4:07 PM

    @skittlesareyum

    Good coaches work around Injuries.. Not GMs.

    And your comparison is very weak cause the packers haven’t had nearly as many injuries. You named 6 players. Falcons have had up to 12 players miss multiple games. There is a salary cap. Hard to account for that much depth

  46. ilovefoolsball says: Oct 30, 2013 4:07 PM

    Selfish hobbit!
    Let the precious go!

  47. travelingwillies says: Oct 30, 2013 4:15 PM

    @slick

    so a 2-5 record in a year where the falcons have sustained more injuries than any other team makes dimitroff a failed GM? amazing how fickle NFL fans can be. Under his control, the falcons have been very successful. That has not translated into a superbowl yet(mostly due to bad coaching) but to call him a failed GM is laughable

    you must have forgotten when the Pats went 11-5 without Brady. Btw the pats draft picks have gotten worse since Dimitroff, former head scout of the pats, left in 2008.

  48. ksquared14 says: Oct 30, 2013 4:15 PM

    Tony didn’t want to be traded

  49. sullijo1 says: Oct 30, 2013 4:38 PM

    Darn. He could have went back to KC where he never won a playoff game! He was a curse there and could have guaranteed a 21st year in a row for the Chiefs without a playoff win.

  50. atlfan31833 says: Oct 31, 2013 2:49 PM

    Tony Gonzalez: “I’m happy to be here. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. I love Atlanta.”

  51. gammynomnom says: Oct 31, 2013 5:06 PM

    All that money and Tommy can’t get a grown up haircut?

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