2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Gonzalez glad to still be with struggling Falcons

By PAUL NEWBERRY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-31 16:37

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The NFL trade deadline has passed.

Tony Gonzalez knows where he'll be finishing his 17-year career.

Now, to make the best of it.

Gonzalez will spend at least nine more weeks with the Atlanta Falcons before fading into retirement, and he's not giving up on the idea of extending things just a bit with an improbable trip to the playoffs.

If nothing else, he doesn't have to hear about a possible trade anymore.

''I'm here. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season,'' Gonzalez said Thursday. ''I'm glad it's over now. I'm ready to go out there and finish this season strong. Hopefully we can make a serious run here, because that's what it's going to take.''

The battered Falcons (2-5) are one of the league's most disappointing teams heading into Sunday's game at Carolina (4-3).

Gonzalez knows he is running out of time to win his first championship.

''I'm savoring every moment that I can out there,'' he said. ''Sometimes, I think back to when it all started: high school, college, my first couple of years in the league. Coming here (in 2009), I remember my first day showing up here to the locker room. It's not sad. But it makes me motional to think that it's all coming to an end.''

Asked if he could share how serious the discussions were before Tuesday's deadline, Gonzalez said he's not going to dwell on something that didn't happen. He simply stood by his often-repeated position that he never asked for a trade but wouldn't have stood in the way if it benefited the Falcons in the long run.

There was plenty of reports about Gonzalez returning to his previous team, the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs, so he could make one more run at a title after coming up 10 yards short of a trip to his first Super Bowl last season.

''Obviously, there was Kansas City. Everybody knows that,'' Gonzalez said. ''I'm going to keep all that private. It doesn't matter what happened because I'm here today. That's the reality of it. That's a good reality as far as I'm concerned.''

According to STATS LLC, only four teams since 1933 have made the playoffs after starting 2-5, and two of those squads - the 2011 Denver Broncos and 1990 New Orleans Saints - squeaked in with 8-8 records.

A .500 mark isn't likely to cut it this year in the NFC, not with Seattle (7-1) or San Francisco (6-2) in good shape to claim one wild card and four other teams with winning records trailing in their divisions.

Still, General manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith didn't want to do make any move that would look like the Falcons were hoisting a white flag on this season and that it was no longer necessary to play hard this season. They surely remember the benefits of playing to the finish in 2009, when Atlanta was 6-7 and out of playoff contention but managed to win its final three games.

The momentum from that strong finish carried over to the next season; the Falcons went 13-3 and won the NFC South.

''We want to salvage this season,'' running back Jason Snelling said. ''As a group, we've built something here. We have pride in each other. It's never over. We've got nine more games to do something. We want to go out there and win every one of `em.''

With Pro Bowl receiver Julio Jones out for the year with a foot injury and the team's other star pass-catcher, Roddy White, hobbled by ankle and hamstring issues, opposing defenses have shifted their coverages toward Gonzalez.

The result: He has caught just five passes for 56 yards with no touchdowns in the last two games, a huge drop-off from his production (33 catches, 339 yards, three TDs) in the first five contests.

''It's frustrating,'' Gonzalez conceded. ''You work so hard during the week, and there's holes in the defenses where you say, `I can go out there and be successful this week.' Then you get in that situation and you've got two guys on you.''

White has missed the last two games and still hasn't returned to practice, sitting out again on Thursday. Gonzalez remains hopeful that the receiver will get back soon and draw away some of the coverage.

No matter what happens, quarterback Matt Ryan is pleased that he'll be throwing to Gonzalez the rest of the season.

''He's one of my favorite teammates, one of my all-time favorite guys to be around,'' Ryan said. ''Certainly he's one of the best players on our team.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Pat DevlinJun 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Pat Devlin, TE Jacob Maxwell and PK Jeremiah Detmer were waived Thursday, June 18.

Dez BryantJun 18 11:42a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant arrived for the final day of minicamp Thursday, June 18.

Kelvin BenjaminJun 18 11:02a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) showed up 8 or 9 pounds overweight, and head coach Ron Rivera believes Benjamin's hamstring injury could be a result of that. 'It [ More ]

Kevin WilliamsJun 18 09:42a

Free-agent DT Kevin Williams (Vikings) signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints Thursday, June 18. He received a $500,000 signing bonus, which is his only [ More ]

Dez BryantJun 17 06:13p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to play Week 1 with or without a long-term contract, according to owner Jerry Jones. Jones said he knows how competitive Bryant [ More ]

Tyronne GreenJun 17 05:53p

Carolina Panthers OG Tyronne Green (Achilles') is out for the year with a torn Achilles' tendon he suffered Tuesday, June 16.

Zach SudfeldJun 17 05:23p

New York Jets TE Zach Sudfeld (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, June 17, after being waived/injured Monday, June 15.

Jeremy GallonJun 17 05:13p

Oakland Raiders WR Jeremy Gallon (undisclosed) was waived from the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, June 17.

Lamar HolmesJun 17 04:33p

Atlanta Falcons OT Lamar Holmes (foot) suffered a broken foot Wednesday, June 17, and will be out indefinitely, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

Dorin DickersonJun 17 02:13p

Tennessee Titans TE Dorin Dickerson (Achilles') will undergo season-ending surgery in the near future to repair his ruptured Achilles' tendon.

Le'Veon BellJun 17 02:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell said he has not had the appeal of his three-game suspension heard at this point and does not know when the appeal will be scheduled.

Jacob TammeJun 17 12:43p

Atlanta Falcons TE Jacob Tamme appears to be the leading candidate for the starting tight end job but is being pushed by TEs Tony Moeaki and Levine Toilolo. Head [ More ]

Victor CruzJun 17 09:03a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) is hopeful he'll avoid the Physically Unable to Perform list and is confident he could pass the pre-training camp conditioning test right [ More ]

Davante AdamsJun 16 10:33p

Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams has received significant praise from head coach Mike McCarthy and teammates for his development. 'I think Davante has done a great job in [ More ]

Martellus BennettJun 16 08:53p

Chicago Bears TE Martellus Bennett participated in minicamp practice Tuesday, June 16, after skipping the first three weeks of organized team activities. Bennett told reporters he expects to be [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group