Our Zach Kruse makes a thoughtful observation on the occasion of the NFL’s trade deadline on Tuesday:
If you’re #Packers GM Ted Thompson, don’t you at least call Thomas Dimitroff and gauge his interest on a Tony Gonzalez deal?
— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) October 29, 2013
There’s hundreds of other unrealistic trade possibilities that you can poke holes in for one reason or another, such as the Packers going after Bills safety Jarius Byrd (franchise tag) or Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (contract and off-field issues).
But unlike the ludicrous suggestion that the Packers could trade a king’s ransom for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in return for Jordy Nelson, Johnathan Franklin and a second round draft pick (shame on you, ESPN), this suggestion has some merit.
Now, let’s pump the brakes for a second and realize, this is Ted Thompson we’re talking about. If the asking price for Gonzalez for too high, the Packers simply don’t pull the trigger.
But if, by chance, the Packers and Falcons could work out some sort of deal that would be equitable for both parties, this isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
With the Falcons sitting at 2-5 and on the outside looking in at the playoff picture, it might be in their franchise’s best interests to part ways with a player who insists he’s retiring after the 2013 season and looking for an opportunity to play in the Super Bowl one last time.
Certainly, the Packers won’t get something for nothing. But might a mid-round draft choice be too steep for a player that can help stabilize the tight end position after losing Jermichael Finley to a serious neck injury just over a week ago?
Nothing is official regarding Finley’s future. The Packers have yet to determine if or when he’s likely to play again, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him land on season ending injured reserve.
Thompson once flirted with attempting to trade for Gonzalez from the Chiefs back in 2008, but per usual, Thompson refused to pay a price he deemed too costly, similar to Marshawn Lynch in 2010.
Trading for Gonzalez now would be akin to the Packers trading for an aging Keith Jackson, such as they did midseason in 1995. While his best days were behind him, Jackson still spent two productive years in Green Bay, helping them qualify for two Super Bowls and winning one.
The Packers would appear to have competition for Gonzalez this time around, with his former team in Kansas City rumored to be involved. The Chiefs are undefeated and looking for the missing piece in what they’re hoping will be a run at the Super Bowl.
Unlike other teams in the NFL, the Packers have the salary-cap space (roughly $10 million) to make a deal, if they so desire. Acquiring Gonzalez now would cost the Packers roughly half $5.25 million cap hit in 2013.
One factor to take into account, however, is that the money used to pay Gonzalez couldn’t go toward extending one of the Packers’ upcoming free agents such as cornerback Sam Shields or defensive lineman B.J. Raji, although Gonzalez’s modest contract isn’t exactly cost prohibitive.
So far this season Gonzalez has 38 receptions for 395 yards and three touchdowns.
The trade deadline is at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday.