While various reports this week indicated perennial Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez was unhappy not to be traded, Kansas City had the chance to trade him to Buffalo. Gonzalez, however, never warmed to the idea of playing in Buffalo.
Had Gonzalez embraced the chance to play in Buffalo rather than reject it, he would have found out what the late, great Tim Russert knew.
Buffalo is a great football town. It reveres its football heroes. And the football team is pretty compelling — certainly more compelling these days than the Kansas City Chiefs.
But Gonzalez has no one but himself to blame. He crossed the Bills off his wish list. He closed his mind to a small town with a big heart. He limited his opportunities and denied the Chiefs the chance to take the third-round pick, and other compensation, the Bills were offering. This is not entirely Carl Peterson’s fault. Gonzalez is also at fault.
Had Gonzalez been more open-minded, he could have spent the rest of this season with a team chasing a top playoff seed rather than a top draft pick.
Gonzalez should have ripped a page out of Brett Favre’s playbook. Favre was not granted the chance to play in Minnesota or Chicago, as he would have liked. Instead, he accepted a trade to New York and the Jets. But look at him today.
The Jets are competing for first place. New York is a different type of adventure. Favre is beloved in the Big Apple. His season is interesting. Gonzalez’s is not.
Gonzalez can’t have it both ways. He can’t want to play for a contender and then not welcome the chance to play in Buffalo. He can’t question the Chiefs when his decision has to be equally questioned. This is not how it works for Gonzalez.
His bill has come due.