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NFL Rumor Central: Matty Ice to Gonzo in 2009?

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NFL Rumor Central: Matty Ice to Gonzo in 2009?

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Monday, April 13

Matty Ice to Gonzo in 2009?

Tony Gonzalez | Chiefs | Interested: Falcons?

With a need to acquire a pass-catching tight end before the 2009 season begins, the Atlanta Falcons hosted then-free agent L.J. Smith earlier this offseason, but he left town without signing a contract and later agreed to terms with the Baltimore Ravens. With the need still there, a new rumor has gained steam that Tony Gonzalez may be headed to Atlanta next season, as reported by Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post.

The trio of Justin Peelle, Ben Hartsock and Jason Rader combined for just 19 catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns during 2008 - almost exactly one-fifth of Gonzalez' numbers across the board - and an elite receiving-oriented tight end would offer a nice complement to Roddy White and Michael Jenkins while also opening up the middle of the field for the running game. According to the report, the Falcons are willing to send their second-round pick to the Kansas City Chiefs for Gonzalez, pick No. 55 overall.

While Gonzalez has backed off his prior demands to be traded, there is a prevailing sense that he wouldn't mind playing for a team closer to championship contention than the Chiefs. Moreover, with a variety of holes to be filled and a new management team in place, owner Clark Hunt's emotional ties to Gonzalez might be superceded by the need for improvement.

Browns shuffling the deck?

The Cleveland Browns made a small splash earlier this offseason with the trade of Kellen Winslow, but according to the National Football Post, there could be a tidal wave in the next few weeks.

During the era of speculation on Jay Cutler's trade destinations, the Browns were often listed either as a straight-up trade partner or as a facilitator, a team that would be sending one of their two starter-caliber quarterbacks to the Denver Broncos to make Cutler's departure to a third party easier. That didn't happen, but according to rumors, Brady Quinn is still being actively shopped by the team, with a first-round pick returning to Cleveland in exchange. Teams with a need at quarterback that might be able to offer this level of pick are the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 8, the San Francisco 49ers at No. 10, the Buffalo Bills at No. 11, the New York Jets at No. 17, the Detroit Lions trading their second first-rounder at No. 20, and the Minnesota Vikings at No. 22.

In addition to the first-rounder allegedly on the table for Quinn, the Browns have also received an offer of a first round pick for receiver Braylon Edwards. Three first round draft picks for a team in one year would be astounding, but it's been a pretty wild offseason so far and nothing's impossible. Amongst the teams that might be involved in trade talks for Edwards are the Jaguars, 49ers and Jets, as well as the New York Giants at No. 29 and the Philadelphia Eagles, who could offer either the No. 21 or No. 28 pick and still have a first-rounder in hand.

While the loss of Edwards would leave the team with Steve Heiden and Syndric Steptoe as the top two receiving options returning in 2009, the team has added David Patten and Robert Royal in free agency so far. More importantly, with the No. 5 overall pick already in their possession, the team is in a great spot to take either Jeremy Maclin or Michael Crabtree, with Crabtree slotted into that position in Mel Kiper, Jr.'s latest mock draft.

Panthers to add D-Line depth?

Without a first round pick in the upcoming draft, the Carolina Panthers won't be adding any players from the top tier of talent to their roster for 2009. Of course, the team went 12-4 in 2008 and the vast majority of starters are returning. Moreover, the team's blowout loss to the Arizona Cardinals in last season's playoffs was primarily due to the foibles of Jake Delhomme, who threw five picks and also lost a fumble.

In other words, there aren't any glaring needs for the team, aside from some sort of happy pill for the disgruntled Julius Peppers and turnover reduction salve for Delhomme, and according to the Charlotte Observer, the team will be focusing on adding depth through this year's draft.

This speculation is going on the idea that the Panthers will not be trading Julius Peppers before the draft. In trade, Peppers would likely return a package similar in overall value to the Jared Allen swap from last year - picks No. 17, 73 and 82, which works out to 1355 points on the draft pick value chart. With these extra picks, the Panthers might be able to move back into the first round to select a replacement pass-rusher, as well as add some depth as opined by the report in the Observer.

Sunday, April 12

Broncos to swap picks with Jags?

Mike Klis of the Denver Post took a look at his handy draft value chart, and noticed that there could be a great way for the Denver Broncos to ensure that they get "their guy" in the first round: a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jags' first pick is at No. 8 overall, which has a value on the chart equal to 1400 points. The Broncos are slotted to make their first selection at No. 12, a pick that has 1200 points. But the Broncos are in possession of some extra picks thanks to the Jay Cutler trade, and could sacrifice the No. 79 overall selection, a pick that charts out to 195 points. While this is not quite an equivalent value swap, it's extremely close.

The Broncos had one of the most porous defensive units in the league in 2008, a group that was much more responsible for keeping the team out of the playoffs than anything else. They'll be installing a 3-4 scheme in 2009, and two of the draft's top prospects would be greatly beneficial in this effort. Boston College's B.J. Raji, whose suspected positive drug test has not been officially confirmed by anyone from the NFL, is the best available player to line up at nose tackle in a 3-4, while Texas' Brian Orakpo is a pass-rushing specialist who would thrive in a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker role in a 3-4. There have also been some rumors that Broncos coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Brian Xanders have their eyes on USC's Mark Sanchez, and are angling at trading up in order to put themselves in the best position to draft him.

For a team with as many needs as the Jaguars, it might help the team both in the short- and long-term to secure an additional third round selection. The team has nine picks in the draft's seven rounds, but the extra two are both compensatory picks that will be taken at the end of the final round. Additionally, the Jaguars' greatest need is wide receiver, and by moving down from No. 8 to No. 12, they won't be putting themselves in any worse position to grab Michael Crabtree or Jeremy Maclin, considering the teams at 9, 10 and 11 -- the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills -- are not thought to be looking to receiver in this draft.

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I would much rather give up a 3rd and a 2010 conditional pick depending on performance.

A good all around draft + Gonzo = back to back winning seasons :o


seriously though, If we traded down in the early 2nd, and picked up an extra third we would have the same amount of picks before we made that trade. Then if we found good value with our first 3 picks the draft might actually top the one from last year.

Imagine: Larry English (I really do see him falling to the second), Patrick Chung/William Moore, and a linebacker like Darry Beckwith in the third + Gonzalez... that is a dynamite draft right there!

Gonzo would not hurt our potential compensation picks next year so I really do think a conditional pick is not too much for them to ask for.

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I hope we don't do this - Tony would be a great target but only for so long, and an asking price of a 2nd round pick is just too high.

However if we did acquire him, that would mean one of two things. We take a guy late like Davon Drew who has a lot of potential and have him learn and develop behind TG so when TG is done Davon can take over without the offense missing a beat.

OR, we don't draft a TE for two years and target an early TE like Rob Gronkowski who can come in from Day 1 and perform when TG's play goes downhill or he is gone.

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Gonzalez had over 1000 receiving yards last year, he has 3 years remaining on his contract so he's no one and done like Foxworth. He is a pro's pro and would be great in the locker room. If TD pulls this off it would be huge. I don't understand everyone thinking we can just plug in a 2nd or 3rd round TE pick and get this production and leadership. What surprises me is that Pioli wants to move him while bringing in his starting QB from the pats that has only played one year. Cassell is far from an all pro QB and would need a TE like Gonzalez IMO.

Mike Lombardi said last night on NFL Network that this is has an 80% chance of happening and that he had heard that Gonzalez had already moved his stuff out of his locker. So I do believe he is going somewhere and the relationship with TD and Pioli cannot be underestimated here..

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