Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez and Ravens’ legendary linebacker Ray Lewis have plenty of things in common. They’ve both played 17 years, they’ve both been to the Pro Bowl 13 times and they both will ultimately end up in Canton, OH as members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Unfortunately for Gonzalez, there is that one major thing that he has yet to do and that’s win a Super Bowl. Gonzalez had stated prior to the 2012 season that it would be his last, but after making it to the NFC Championship Game, a chance to win that elusive Lombardi was so close that he was convinced to come back, just one more time.
Despite Gonzalez having another spectacular season, his Falcons are a disappointing 1-4 and just lost their top receiver, Julio Jones, for the season. It’s safe to say that it doesn’t appear that Gonzalez will ride off into the sunset with a Super Bowl trophy in his hand as Lewis did last February. You have to feel a bit sorry for the guy.
With the Falcons all but out of contention and Gonzalez still playing at a high level and hungry to hoist the hardware, I’ve received plenty of messages from people on Twitter asking if Gonzalez would be a potential trade target for the Ravens, given that tight end has been a black eye on the offense following Dennis Pitta’s fractured hip. From the start, my response has always been “no” for the simple fact that Gonzalez doesn’t strike me as someone who would want to abandon a team mid-season, or leave his family, if only for a few months. Also, the Ravens have already committed fourth and fifth-round draft picks to the Jaguars for Eugene Monroe and a conditional seventh-round pick to the Colts for A.Q. Shipley.
In a trade for Gonzalez, it would take a trio to tango, and both he and Falcons head coach Mike Smith have shot down any notion.
“That’s preposterous that Tony would be traded,” Falcons head coach Mike Smith told ESPN’s Vaughn McClure. “He’s an integral part of our offense and has been since he’s been here. He’s having another Hall of Fame season.”
The tight end position has been the biggest disappointment for the Ravens thus far this season, but the unit did have their best game of the year last Sunday against the Dolphins. Ed Dickson has struggled in his contract year, but responded to criticism from head coach John Harbaugh with a team-long 43-yard pass reception on Sunday.
Clearly all eyes are on Dennis Pitta and both the fans and the team are counting down to his return. While walking to the press conferences yesterday, I saw Pitta walking out of the team’s weight room and he didn’t look like he was favoring his hip much, if at all. Now, being able to walk and play in the NFL are two totally different things. Still, given the latest prognosis on Pitta and the fact that he’s working out everyday in the team facility, it seems that his return is more likely than first thought when he went down during training camp.
As of now, the Ravens are going to have to make do with what they’ve got. I’d be surprised if they spend any additional draft picks to fill holes on the roster for this season, or are active any more at all prior to the trade deadline (aside from the weekly cutting/signing of Billy Bajema, of course).
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