Former Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez said goodbye to Kansas City today, but said he’s merely on loan to the Atlanta Falcons.
The 10-time Pro Bowler met with reporters Tuesday morning at the top of the Hyatt Regency Crown Center, saying that he might be going to Atlanta now but Gonzalez insisted he’ll someday retire as a Chief.
Gonzalez’ trade to the Falcons last week ended the 33-year-old’s 12-year affiliation with Kansas City, which traded up to draft him as a 21-year-old in 1997. He has since broken every major tight end receiving record and former Chiefs president Carl Peterson — also appearing at the press conference — said Gonzalez was the best to ever play the position.
Gonzalez said he planned to play two or three years in Atlanta as he continues to search for playoff success. He said the pursuit of a Super Bowl championship is “everything” to him now, but he said that at the end of his career, he planned to re-sign with the Chiefs for as little as one day, just so he can retire with the team that drafted him. He also said if he were lucky enough to be inducted there was no doubt he’d enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a Chiefs player, regardless of what happens with the Falcons.
The Kansas City Star has a lengthier video of the press conference along with pictures from his time with the Chiefs.
When Tony first spoke out after the trade, I made it pretty clear I would not be happy if he ended up playing three or four seasons in Atlanta. In fact I still believe it will hurt his legacy if that’s what happens, whether he retires as a Chief or not. That being said, if he goes off to the Falcons and plays two standard “Tony” seasons, comes back to Arrowhead and dons the 88 jersey ones last time as he signs his one day contract then I will have no issues whatsoever. Better yet, what if the Chiefs are on the cusp of winning a Super Bowl in two years and Gonzalez still has some game left? I don’t think it’s the most ridiculous idea that Tony could come back and be that final piece of the puzzle.