Friday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Be careful what you wish for.

Chiefs fans wanted change. They wanted the broom to sweep through Arrowhead Stadium and push out all that was old.

They wanted new.

They got it. Be careful what you wish for.

The new regime of Scott Pioli and Todd Haley made their second biggest move of the off-season on Thursday when they dealt 10-time Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez to Atlanta for the Falcons second-round choice in the 2010 NFL Draft. Only dealing a second-round pick for QB Matt Cassel rivals what went down with Gonzalez.

The broom is sweeping its way through the Chiefs and now many of those fans who wanted change are not happy. Gonzalez is a fan favorite and he’s now gone, off to finish his career with a team that has a bird on its helmet rather than an arrowhead.

What comes with change is pain. This one wasn’t easy for anybody to choke down, even Gonzalez who wanted desperately to have a chance to be part of a winning team again. Bittersweet is the word most often used.

There are a lot of different windows into the reactions to this deal.

EMOTIONAL

Fans make an emotional investment in their favorite teams and players. Remember fan is from the fanatical, defined as irrationally enthusiastic; excessively zealous.

And darn pissed off that No. 88 was sent packing. There was an investment made in Gonzalez over the last 12 years. He was gifted athletically, handled himself with class, gave back to the community and did nothing but represent the Chiefs and Kansas City in the best manner possible.

Meet his mother and his grandmother and it’s not hard to discover why Gonzalez came to Kansas City in 1997 as a 21-year old and never found trouble. He went out, he enjoyed nightlife, he embraced what Kansas City is, but he never showed up on the police blotter, or doing a perp walk, or calling somebody in the middle of the night for bail money.

As a person and player, Gonzalez is about as good as it gets and Chiefs fans found that out over the years. It’s testimony to his profile that all this came despite the fact he was not part of a single victory in the playoffs, let alone a championship. In fact, in Gonzalez’s 12 seasons with the Chiefs, they had a 95-100 record in the regular season and playoffs.

Fans never blamed Gonzalez, because he was always working so hard and achieving individually where there was no success as a group.

RATIONAL

Gonzalez is 33 years old. He’s played 12 seasons and missed just a single two games to injury; in the 1999 season opener as he was getting over a pre-season knee injury and in 2006 against Oakland after a shoulder injury the week before against Miami.

Who knows how much more tread there is on his tires? It’s hard to tell. Gonzalez himself said he would probably play one more year if he stayed in Kansas City. He’s already saying two or three more years with the move to Atlanta. That could very well happen for him, although he will now play at least nine games a year on artificial turf at home in Atlanta and on the road in New Orleans. Both are domes, with turf laid over cement floors. In the last three years with the Chiefs, Gonzalez played nine games on fake grass.

Gonzalez does a wonderful job of taking care of himself; he’s never out of shape. But the joints do creak just a bit more. That’s why he only practiced once during two-a-day training camp practices over the last few years.

The fact is this: he’s close to the end of his career. If he followed through and retired after the ’09 season, the Chiefs would have nothing but memories of him for the 2010 season.

Now, they’ll have a player. Whether that person comes to them next year in the second round, or this weekend if the bargaining power of that choice makes a deal possible now, Tony G. brought something back.

It’s a tight rope all professional teams walk with their older players. Generally, when a player loses “it”, the end comes quickly and everybody sees it. Better to take an older player who may still have skills and make a deal, than wait and get stuck with an untradeable veteran.

For Pioli/Haley, this was a rational decision. They now have to make it work by hitting a home run on the player that Gonzalez brings them.

PRACTICAL

Wouldn’t keeping Gonzalez help Cassel and Haley’s new offense? Sure. But how does that lead to victories?

Last year the Chiefs made the decision not to deal Gonzalez at the trading deadline in October. At that time, the best offer they had was a third-round choice. So an unhappy tight end stayed and he went on to have another big season.

But the Chiefs still won just one game after the deal wasn’t made. If you think Cassel is a better quarterback than Tyler Thigpen well … most people wouldn’t argue that point. But remember, the Chiefs had a losing record during the time Gonzalez wore the red uniform, no matter the quarterback.

That’s not the fault of Gonzalez, although he must share the blame, just as he gets credit for being the best modern-day tight end in the game. It’s just evidence that you don’t build teams or an offense around a tight end. When the Vermeil Flying Circus offense was establishing new franchise and in some cases league records for production, it wasn’t built on Trent Green to Tony Gonzalez. It was built on Priest Holmes and his ability as a runner and receiver.

As we saw in the second half of the ’08 season, having Gonzalez on the roster meant nothing when it came to victories. Why should ’09 be any different?

Personally, I will miss having Tony Gonzalez around. He’s a good man. He treats people well, even those little people who can’t really do anything for him. He was a classy person and as a tight end, he was as good as I’ve ever seen. Gonzalez broke all of Shannon Sharpe’s career tight end records. I don’t see Sharpe in his class. I’ve seen every one of his catches, including my favorite, up in Denver when he caught the ball while sitting on the field after being knocked down. This wasn’t some dump pass; this was 15-20 yards down the field, on the sidelines.

He will one day have a bust in Canton, Ohio.

SO WHAT HAPPENS AT TIGHT END NOW

Expect the Chiefs to select a tight end at some point during the 2009 NFL Draft.

Right now, the most experienced tight end on the roster is five-year journeyman Sean Ryan, who was signed just this week. Attention will fall on second-year man Brad Cottam, a third-round draft choice from last year who got a lot of playing time, but not a lot of opportunities to catch the ball.

“He was a player that was of interest to us at the time,” Haley said of scouting Cottam last year when the head coach was in Arizona. “Brad has been in here; he’s been working hard and doing all the things being asked of him. Like all the other guys I’m encouraged by what he’s doing right now in the off-season conditioning program.”

TURNS OUT CARL WAS RIGHT

The website profootballtalk.com dug up a quote from Gonzalez last October, when the Chiefs did not pull the trigger on a deal before the trading deadline.

An angry Gonzalez said: “I know teams offered a third and in the end, Carl (Peterson) made the asking price a second,” Gonzalez said.  “I’m very disappointed that he didn’t go through with it after he told me he was going to try to make it happen.  I’ve been around this league a long time, it’s a business.  There’s nothing I can do about it.  I was pissed off about it but I’ll get over it.”

Turns out Carl was right, Gonzalez was worth a second. Oh, I know that makes some people unhappy.

THE GOOSE 100

Nobody prepares for the NFL Draft each year in the media like Dallas Morning News pro football writer Rick Gosselin. He does not rely on other media types for his information. Goose calls the decision makers and they call him back. Sometimes, they are trying to get information out of him.

Every year, Goose does his top 100 players. He released the list Thursday and it will be interesting to see how quickly some of the so-called draft experts adjust their top 100s based on what Gosselin has put together. Don’t laugh; it’s happened.

Under his evaluation, his top five are: LB Aaron Curry, WR Michael Crabtree, OT Jason Smith, QB Matthew Stafford and WR Jeremy Maclin. That doesn’t mean that’s how they will be selected in the first round. It’s a ranking of their potential in the pros.

Check out his whole list right here.

If the league went strictly by Goose’s board, the Chiefs would grab Jason Smith and DE Lawrence Sidbury with their first two picks.

VIKINGS CONTINUE INVESTIGATION OF FLORIDA WR PERCY HARVIN

These are not good times for Florida receiver-returner Percy Harvin. There are medical questions surrounding him and his history of foot and ankle injuries. On top of that, FOXSports.com reported this week that Harvin tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine.

That’s why at least three NFL teams were in Gainesville, Florida this week to speak with Harvin. That included Minnesota. The Vikings didn’t send a scout or a personnel-type. They sent head coach Brad Childress to meet with Harvin.

Depending on what Childress heard may determine just what the Vikings go after Harvin with their first-round pick at No. 2.

SIGNINGS & MOVEMENT IN THE NFL (other than Tony G.)

EAGLES – signed TE Eugene Bright.

PANTHERS - worked out a contract extension with QB Jake Delhomme worth $42.5 million/$20 million in guaranteed money.

PATRIOTS - re-signed DL Kenny Smith.

SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY …

Born on April 24, 1961 in Chicago was Chiefs assistant head coach Maurice Carthon. He played eight seasons in the NFL with the New York Giants and Indianapolis, appearing in 123 games and totaling 1,695 rushing/receiving yards. Carthon joined the Chiefs from the coaching staff of the Arizona Cardinals.

Born on April 24, 1942 in Opelousas, Louisiana was Remi Prudhomme, who played two seasons with the Chiefs (1968-69) and was part of the team that beat Minnesota in Super Bowl IV. He appeared in 28 games at guard for the Chiefs that season.

On April 24, 1958, FB Larry Moriarity was born in Santa Barbara, California. He joined the Chiefs in 1986 and played three seasons (1986-88), appearing in 31 games with eight starts. He ran 85 times for 284 yards and caught 23 passes for 128 yards and a TD.

And on April 24, 1959, DE Bob Hamm was born in Kansas City. He played in the 1985 season with the Chiefs, appearing in 31 games.


37 Responses to “Friday Morning Cup O’Chiefs”

  • April 24, 2009  - Johnfromfairfax says:

    All in all another good day for the Chiefs. You hate to see a great player and person go but he made it clear he was unhappy here and elated to get to extend his career with in his thinking a better short term shot at the super bowl. We get a second round selection to utilize in a package now or use later and move forward. A win win for both sides. You don’t replace a Tony Gonzalez and shouldn’t hate him for wanting a change. You move forward.


  • April 24, 2009  - UKMark says:

    From the Goose 100 last year (FWIW):

    Glenn Dorsey was held in higher esteem by the college community than Long. He won the Lombardi, Lott, Nagurski and Outland trophies for his play as a defensive tackle for national champion LSU. Dorsey is also held in higher esteem by the NFL community.

    In the week leading up to the draft, The Dallas Morning News polled 27 of the NFL’s 32 teams for the No. 1 player on their draft boards. Dorsey was the selection on 12 of the draft boards, followed by Arkansas running back Darren McFadden on six, Virginia defensive end Chris Long on five, then Long and Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan atop two boards apiece.

    So pencil in Dorsey at No. 1 on SportsDay’s annual Top 100 draft board. The Top 100 is compiled based on conversations with NFL general managers, personnel directors, pro and college coaches and scouts. This is not a mock draft. Teams will skip around the board on draft day to make selections that fit their needs.


  • April 24, 2009  - Harold C. says:

    I’m just adding Tony to the long list of players I wish could have gone to the Super Bowl with KC. Now he’s gone and we must move on. Everything will work out. Keep your eye on the prise. I think the Super Bowl is in our future….it just wont involve Tony G……like so many other players before him.


  • April 24, 2009  - UKMark says:

    Here’s a look at last year’s Goose 100 and where the Chief’s drafted players on this list in (parenthesis) – the order drafted drives the list:
    #1 – Glenn Dorsey (5)
    #18 – Brandon Albert (15)
    #38 – Brandon Flowers (35)
    #36 – Jamaal Charles (73)
    #62 – Brad Cottam (76)
    #55 – DaJuan Morgan (82)

    Six players from the 2008 Goose 100 found a home in K.C., may be looking at again this year…


  • April 24, 2009  - Merwin says:

    “These are the best of times, these are the worst of times.” As much as I hate to see Tony go, It does not surprise me at all. I’m glad at least they got something for him in a second round pick. Since both the Cards and Pats use more of a blocking TE, this should come as no great surprise I suppose. I’m sure Pioli will be quite willing to deal anyone that does not have direct ties to Pioli or Haley. I would not be surprised to see Brian Waters traded today or during the draft. As much as I liked Tony and wish him the best of luck in his last few years in the NFL. I just wist he would have expressed an interest in building the Chiefs back up. There is no guarantee that he will win big in Atlanta. Now we just have to see how the cards fall this weekend. As for Tony, good luck, I hope you do get to play in you’re Superbowl! Thanks for all the memories!


  • April 24, 2009  - B in SC says:

    Good move at this point. Tony wanted to move and the Chiefs got maximum value. Unfortunately for TG, the grass is not always greener on the other side. I think he will eventually regret asking for a trade. KC is an up and comer and Atlanta is not one or two players away from the Super Bowl. They had a nice run last year, but I think they will take a step back this year.

    Just shows how hard it is for a player to play his entire career with one organization these days. Brett Favre and now TG. Not right in another uniform.


  • April 24, 2009  - Scott says:

    I was pissed about Gonzo too, at first…

    But, it was really for the best. For him, and for the team.

    I think the “pissed” part comes from knowing that he was one of those rare special players in the NFL, one of the best ever at his position. And he played for US. It truly was a pleasure watching him play…on our good teams, and even on our bad teams. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen another player, on ANY team, play his ass off 100% of the time like Gonzo did. I’ll miss that.

    It’s time to move on now. Move forward. I hope Tony gets what he wants. As long as he’s not playing against us…I hope he kicks ass.


  • April 24, 2009  - SG says:

    “This one wasn’t easy for anybody to choke down, even Gonzalez who wanted desperately to have a chance to be part of a winning team again. Bittersweet is the word most often used.”

    The word “most often used” was half-right. Cut off the “sweet” part and (you get ‘bitter’) – that’s closer to the accurate word.

    “For Pioli/Haley, this was a rational decision. They now HAVE to make it work by hitting a home run on the player that Gonzalez brings them.”

    Darn right…in just the way that picking up Cassel/Vrabel with a 2nd round pick was a brilliant move – anything less than a home run on the player who I will deem “The Replacement” will be referred to as a failure.

    Like you Scott, I will (have to) grudgingly move on…likely to double over in pain each time this year that Fox shows a New Orleans Saints or Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons game.


  • April 24, 2009  - tm1946 says:

    I am over Tony but have a new cause. UKMARK I do not get it. Dorsey had a good year from his record but I only recall one time he made a difference during 16 games. He may be better this year but he was a 5pick and should have shown something. Cottom is a question are because of Tony. Morgan was a non factor, never hardly played. So whoever or whatever Goose 100 is, it is not much better than Kiper. I guess you can say anything but last years draft was no breakthrough for the future.


  • April 24, 2009  - DaveS says:

    From Gosselin’s List

    53. Everette Brown DE Florida State

    That is a far stretch from being a top 10 pick where many have him going.


  • April 24, 2009  - Scott says:

    Well…all the “mock” BS and speculation will be over tomorrow. Thank God!

    I have a feeling we’ll be stuck with the #3 pick…although I’m still holding out a glimmer of hope we can move down some, and get another pick or two. I doubt it’s gonna’ happen, though.

    Sure will be interesting to see what Pioli will do with that #3 pick…because there seems to be no clues as to what the guy might be thinking.


  • April 24, 2009  - SG says:

    Scott – what about a couple scenarios such as…

    1) We trade our 1st rounder this year (#3) and our 2nd rounder we just got by trading Gonzalez…to Arizona for their 1st rounder, their 2nd rounder, and Mr. Boldin?

    or

    2) We trade our 1st and 2nd rounders mentioned above to CLE for their 1st rounder, a 4th rounder, and Braylon Edwards?

    We now almost have to assume the team will deal for a Larry Fitzgerald-type impact player to prevent total implosion of the offense. I assume pretty simply that Mr. Haley will not allow Mr. Pioli to automatically put his future employment with this team at risk before the new “Right 53″ ever plays a game.


  • April 24, 2009  - ArrowheadHawk says:

    It occurred to me that when Belichick was the HC at Cleavland one of his first moves was to cut Kosar, a very unpopular move to be sure. Belichick didn’t have the media savvy or the right personality to be HC at that time but the bottom line is sometimes you have to make the unpopular moves to make the whole team better (in the long run).

    It still does suck that it was Tony traded and not LJ!


  • April 24, 2009  - Scott says:

    SG,

    The trade for Boldin sounds good. I highly doubt if Arizona would throw in anything additional in a trade, though. They want too much for him, anyway. I think he’ll be stuck there another year, unhappy…unless they lower their asking price. And really, why should they?

    Edwards? I’m not convinced he’s worth it. Didn’t he have a lot of drops last year? But…Cleveland’s 1st rounder would be a lot better than Arizona’s this year, no doubt.

    Maybe we’re going to draft Crabtree? It would also help us a lot to have a good receiving RB. Damn…there sure are a lot of holes to fill.


  • April 24, 2009  - anonymous says:

    Author says “Turns out Carl was right, Gonzalez was worth a second. Oh, I know that makes some people unhappy.”

    One huge difference between Peterson and any good GM is, both may know what they think a players value is, but the good GM’s find a way to get that value, with a little forethought and some imagination! Something Peterson rarely ever accomplished, unless of course it involved trading away a player like Allen. Any idiot can trade a teams most talented players to fill other holes, but it takes skills to keep the talent and add to it.

    So your infantile attempt to insult all who understood that Peterson sucked, is weak!


  • April 24, 2009  - True Red & Gold says:

    I would be happy with any of these selections at #3 tomorrow.

    1. Eugene Monroe
    2. Jason Smith
    3. Tyson Jackson
    4. Aaron Curry
    5. Michael Crabtree
    6. B.J. Raji

    Pretty much in that order.


  • April 24, 2009  - kcfaninaz says:

    Look for Boldin to be in red and gold this year. trust me, he wants out. we have more important needs than Crabtree, to keep cassel off his back.Eugene Monroe, or Curry 1st.We can get a tight end in later rounds. KC went 2-14 with the best T.E. in the league. P.S. Johnson may not be here by sat either.


  • April 24, 2009  - Scott says:

    Here’s one for everyone…

    Would you trade our #3 for Julius Peppers?


  • April 24, 2009  - kcfaninaz says:

    What about a Johnson Peppers trade?


  • April 24, 2009  - Scott says:

    kcfaninaz,

    Don’t see Boldin coming here. Could happen…but I’d be shocked. Arizona wants a lot for him…and really, why shouldn’t they? Yeah, he wants out of there. But, he’s under contract.

    I’m not sure how active we’ll be looking for a TE in the draft. We’re going to go from a receiving TE to a BLOCKING TE. So, Cottam and Sean Ryan might be our guys.

    And LJ might not be here by Saturday…you’re right. But, I have a feeling that there’s little or no interest in him by other teams. The number of teams willing to take a “problem” player on their roster is shrinking fast. Those types of players are a dying breed in the NFL.


  • April 24, 2009  - kcfaninaz says:

    What do you think about Haley? I,m a Chief fan since 1960. Not a Card fan, but I don’t care too much for Todd. He seems a little slow if you know what I mean.Pioli may be drafting a new coach in 2010!


  • April 24, 2009  - Hank says:

    THE most compelling reason of all to trade Tony (who was my favorite) was his statement that he saw the ability to compete for a championship for the next THREE or FOUR years with the Falcons. Never did he say anything but 1 or 2 years more with KC. To say that KC couldn’t have competed for the big dance in 2010, 2011 or even 2012 shows that he just wanted out of KC. Bobs reference to artificial surface will surely shorten that 3-4 years as well.


  • April 24, 2009  - Scott says:

    I really don’t know enough about Haley yet to form an opinion. I’m willing to give the guy a chance. I think Scott Pioli is a very intelligent football mind…and I know he wouldn’t have brought Haley here if he didn’t think he could do a great job.

    I’ve heard people say Haley is “an a**hole”. That really doesn’t matter to me. I just want results on the field. Besides…some of the best coaches ARE “a**holes” (Belichick, Parcells).


  • April 24, 2009  - anonymous says:

    Chiefs Sign Curtis, Niswanger
    Posted by Aaron Wilson on April 24, 2009, 11:59 a.m. EDT

    The Kansas City Chiefs added unrestricted free agent tight end Tony Curtis, the team announced today.

    With the Dallas Cowboys, Curtis caught 11 passes for 80 yards and three touchdowns and also played on special teams.

    Terms were not released.

    Curtis used to play in the since-defunct NFL Europa for the Cologne Centurions.

    Also, center Rudy Niswanger signed his restricted free agent tender.

    Niswanger was assigned a $1.545 million second-round tender.


  • April 24, 2009  - alex k says:

    IF you are upset over Tony, get over it people, he wouldve retired after the season, then all we hear is cassel cant compete without gonzalez….

    heck of a tight end, in fact, better at pass catching than anyone in the league right now, reciever or tight end…

    But….a 2nd round pick for a 33 year old? thank you Scott Pioli. Now hes worked out deals with an AFC Powerhouse, and a brand new NFC Powerhouse/future record breaking offense.

    Setting himself up for favors/heads up on cuts down the line,.


  • April 24, 2009  - DT58FAN says:

    I am happy for Tony that he got his change. But I totally don’t agree with this trade. I don’t see how this benifits KC at all. Tony was the face of the Chiefs, he was huge in the community. And even when our team was in shambles we could always count on Tony. Tony made Thigpen look good, think what he could have done for Cassel.I believe that this will be a trade that KC will regret.


  • April 24, 2009  - Niblick says:

    I saw on a website that the Chiefs were not through dealing. It was rumored through an NFL source that they were talking another trade with Atlanta. They were going to send Dorsey to Atlanta for Atlanta’s 1st round pick(No24) and their 3rd round pick(No90). This would make sense if they don’t think Dorsey fits in their 3-4 scheme. I sort of like this trade. It is just another rummor, but what do all of you think about this proposed trade?


  • April 24, 2009  - Scott says:

    Hard to say if trading Dorsey is a good idea, or not.

    He wasn’t very impressive last year, for sure. But, it was his first year in the league. Maybe some better coaching will help? Last year, right at this time (the draft), many experts believed him to be the best defensive player available. So…?

    A first and third round pick would be fair, though…I’d say. But wouldn’t it really suck if he went somewhere else and became the dominant player the (so-called) experts were predicting just one year ago?

    That’s what makes drafting high (top 5) such a risk. You get a guy, supposidly an “impact player”, pay a ton of money to sign him, and then get average play (or less) from them? Hopefully, drafting in the top 5 won’t be a problem for us in the coming years.


  • April 24, 2009  - Niblick says:

    Scott -Good points on Dorsey. This is where I feel Pioli will make the right call. Perhaps they feel he can never reach his potential in a 3-4 and a trade would be best for him and the Chiefs. I guess if he stays he would play defensive end. They seem to be working Tank at nose tackle.


  • April 24, 2009  - Graeme says:

    A 2nd rounder next year is worth a 3rd this year (future years are almost always traded at a one round depreciation for current year selections). It’s just a matter of how you look at it. It was smart of Pioli to defer the pick, even if the overall value equates to the same thing. So Carl was still technically wrong.


  • April 24, 2009  - SG says:

    Niblick – very intriguing. If we can get that kind of value for Dorsey – might be advisable to do it.


  • April 24, 2009  - SG says:

    “It was smart of Pioli to defer the pick, even if the overall value equates to the same thing.”

    So if we just got the value of a 3rd rounder this year – how exactly does that make Pioli smart to defer the pick while Gonzalez is catching 80-100 passes for another team and we’re hoping and praying our $14-million quarterback isn’t getting his head torn off by the opponent’s defensive ends and linebackers because he just lost his #1 passing target??


  • April 24, 2009  - RatsoReily says:

    I understand the trade and certainly think Pioli got TG’s value with a Number 2 pick next year. Also, I’m been nothing but impressed with all the moves Pioli has made and think we really got a winner with Scott … Haley has coached a game so the jury is still out on him. However, I’m really going to miss TG and it’s hard to see him go … there’s a lot of great Chief moments that TG’s been involved. I wish him nothing but the best and look forward to Chiefs improving everyday the new regime is in power !!




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