The Atlanta Falcons have acquired veteran Tony Gonzalez from the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for a 2010 second-round draft pick.
Gonzalez, the top scoring tight end in fantasy football last season, will remain a top-five option at his position. While I doubt that he’ll duplicate his impressive 2008 totals, the probable Pro Football Hall of Famer will become a prominent option in the Falcons’ offense.
Gonzalez’s presence also will improve the value of Matt Ryan. The second-year quarterback now has another reliable option in the pass attack to go along with Roddy White, who put up career bests across the board last season.
With White, Gonzalez, Michael Jenkins and Harry Douglas in the pass attack and a star runner in Michael Turner, the sky’s the limit for Ryan in 2009.
In fact, the move makes Ryan a more viable No. 1 fantasy quarterback. He’s now ahead of Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel, Matt Schaub, Donovan McNabb and Jay Cutler on my 2009 quarterback rank list.
The Chiefs could look to add a tight end in the draft or via the free-agent market, but the position won’t be as productive in the offense of coach Todd Haley. Brad Cottam, a 6-foot-7, 270 pounder whose focus will be as a blocker, now is atop the depth chart.
The Chiefs are certain to use plenty of multiple receiver sets, so Mark Bradley and Bobby Engram will now see more targets in the offense.
Dwayne Bowe, a tremendous breakout candidate, now is the unquestioned top option in the pass attack. I’d look for him to produce career numbers across the board and be worth an early-round selection in all drafts.