With the 2018 trade deadline upon us, we found this story about another NFL trade deadline very interesting.
On Monday, Jay Glazer appeared on the Jason Smith Show on Fox Sports Radio, and told a crazy story about the time Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez was almost traded — but in 2008, the year before Scott Pioli became Chiefs general manager and traded Gonzalez to the Atlanta Falcons.
As the #NFL trade deadline approaches, listen to @JayGlazer recount a crazy story to @howaboutafresca & @SwollenDome in which Tony Gonzalez almost became a #Packer and an #Eagle!— FOX Sports Radio (@FoxSportsRadio) October 30, 2018
AUDIO HERE--> https://t.co/g4hL3mOSyF pic.twitter.com/Vy5MSerG1l
Here’s the story:
It’s October 2008, right at the NFL trade deadline. The Chiefs — led by head coach Herm Edwards — are in free fall, and Tony Gonzalez wants out. As Glazer tells the story, he is deeply involved in a potential trade.
“There were two teams that were willing to trade three-plus-players: the Green Bay Packers — Mike McCarthy was the head coach, and he was willing to trade a third-round pick [and a player I don’t remember] — and the Philadelphia Eagles and Andy Reid, who were willing to trade a third-round pick and L.J. Smith. [I think it was],” Glazer said on the show. “So everybody kind of agreed to terms, and I tell Tony, ‘Hey, it’s up to you.’
In Glazer’s telling, Gonzalez doesn’t want to to go workouts or mini-camps, but both the Packers and Eagles are willing to accept Gonzalez coming to just one mini-camp.
“So it’s like, ‘Tony, you’ve got to pick which team you want to do,’ and the Chiefs will do it,” Glazer continues. “But all of the sudden, at 4:40 — I think the trade deadline back then was 5:00 — I get these texts at the same time. Just cursing out the Chiefs. [They’re] from the Packers and the Eagles. At the very last minute, Carl Peterson said, ‘No, I’ve decided I want a two.’
Glazer said that at first, Gonzalez thinks he is joking when Glazer calls to say the Chiefs are backing out.
“I called him back and said, ‘Hey, Carl is switching up on these guys — pretty much after the deadline — and you’re not getting traded.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, my gosh. Wouldn’t that be funny?’ And I said, ‘Tony, I’m dead serious.’ And he’s like, ‘Is this one of your normal moron jokes?’ And I’m like, ‘No. Carl pulled a number on you. You didn’t get traded.’
“And [Gonzalez] goes insane and says, ‘I’m done. I’m retiring. I’m quitting.’ He’s like, ‘We ate that season. I’m out. I’m done. I’m not playing for this guy. I’m done.’ And then he’s like, ‘Pull your pad out. I want to do an article.’ Saying the most incredible, inflammatory things about Carl Peterson. I said, ‘Tony, I’m not going to do an article with you [when you’re] angry like this, because you’ll regret it in five hours.’ Every time I call him back, I say, ‘Calm down, we’ll do a story,’ and he’s like going off, cursing, this and that — talking about things that I know he didn’t really mean.
“Finally, five hours later — I kept calling him back every hour — and I’m like, ‘OK, are we ready here?’ And he says, ‘OK, I’m calmed down. Um... you didn’t print any of the stuff I said earlier, did you?’ And I’m like, ‘No, dude, I didn’t. We’d both be in trouble if I did.’ Man. True story.”
So Tony Gonzalez could have gone to the Packers or the Eagles — still with five-plus years left in his career — but Peterson reneged on the deal, getting half of a season from a very unhappy player.
But in the Fox Sports segment, Glazer also said that Gonzalez didn’t really want to be in either Green Bay or Philadelphia. Instead, he wanted to go to the New York Giants.
According to Glazer, however, Giants GM Jerry Reese absolutely refused to give even a third-round pick for the Chiefs tight end.
But finally, Gonzalez got his wish. When Scott Pioli was named Chiefs general manager after the 2008 season, the Chiefs tight end was traded to the Atlanta Falcons. As it turned out, Peterson got his wish, too.
The Gonzalez trade gave the Chiefs a second-round pick in 2010 — but Peterson wasn’t the one who got to use it.