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Thursday, October 16, 2008
Dreaming of tundra and Tony G.

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

We're a little slow on the uptake sometimes (or perhaps more often), but it's clear we haven't sufficiently noted how close Green Bay got to acquiring Kansas City tight end Tony Gonzalez this week.

Wednesday, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the Packers offered a third-round pick for Gonzalez but that talks eventually fizzled. Thursday, Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal revealed the Packers at one point were so convinced they had an agreement that they sent Kansas City officials the paperwork to finalize the trade.

According to Wilde, the Chiefs raised their asking price to a second-round pick after receiving the paperwork, scuttling the deal.

Regardless of how close the deal was, the Packers' pursuit of Gonzalez reflects an interesting way to effect a midseason improvement. Some teams will attempt to shore up a weakness; in the Packers' case, another defensive lineman or 10 would have helped. Others try to fortify a strength.

Passing offense wouldn't make a list of what ails the Packers, and in fact, they have the NFL's 10th-best average of passing yards per game (234.8). Despite a teamwide rash of injuries, most of quarterback Aaron Rodgers' targets remain healthy. Only receiver James Jones (knee) has missed significant time.

But imagine how difficult it would be to defend receivers Greg Jennings and Donald Driver with Gonzalez roaming the middle of the field. I'm guessing Packers coach Mike McCarthy had a few daydreams along those lines Tuesday afternoon.

It appears the Chiefs only would have dealt Gonzalez if someone made a premium offer. In the end, the Packers weren't that desperate.