Gonzalez unhappy with how his Ryan comments were portrayed

AP

When retired Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez described quarterback Matt Ryan as excellent but not elite, the “not elite” portion of that quote got a lot more attention than the “excellent” part. Gonzalez wasn’t happy about that.

Gonzalez told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that although he had no problem with the original ESPN Magazine story in which his comments appeared, he did have a problem with how ESPN and NFL Network took a partial quote and ran with it.

“There was no firestorm,” Gonzalez said. “They pulled quotes from that article a couple of days before it came out, so now you’re not getting the whole story. ESPN was biased about it and so was the NFL Network. I saw the ticker where it said, ‘Tony calls out his former quarterback’ or whatever. Which is ridiculous.”

Gonzalez says he respects Ryan professionally and considers him a good friend and sees no reason for anyone to suggest otherwise.

“Matt and I are going on two vacations together,” Gonzalez said. “Me and his wife and my wife, we go out to dinner all of the time. Why would I call the guy out, who made the last five years of my career great? Why would I call him out? I didn’t call him out. That’s why I didn’t respond to it. I didn’t tweet about it. I didn’t go on a bunch of radio stations. I did a couple of interviews and I was like, I’m not defending myself. This is ridiculous and I talked to Matt, too. It’s a non-story as far as I was concerned.”

It seems like every NFL offseason features at least one manufactured controversy about whether a certain quarterback is or is not elite. At least we got the one from this offseason over with early.