Thursday, October 17, 2013
Osi Umenyiora: 'It's not over for us'
By Vaughn McClure
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is scheduled to address the local media Thursday for the first time since media-and-fan-driven Gonzalez trade rumors related to him swirled out of control.
The word out of Kansas City is that the Chiefs would welcome Gonzalez back with open arms if the Falcons were willing to part ways, and if Gonzalez wanted to put himself in what, at this point, looks to be a better position for a Super Bowl run with the undefeated Chiefs.
Teammate Osi Umenyiora understands trade talk all too well, although under different circumstances. So he can somewhat relate to what Gonzalez is going through. At the same time, Umenyiora sees no reason why the Falcons would even entertain the idea of trading Gonzalez.
"It’s too early to be doing stuff like that. That’s like a sign of giving up," Umenyiora said. "It’s not over for us. We can still win this thing. All I can say is that it’s not over for us."
Despite all the chatter, the 1-4 Falcons have made it clear they have no intentions of trading Gonzalez, who might have to carry the offense with Julio Jones (foot) out and Roddy White (hamstring, ankle) ailing. Head coach Mike Smith told ESPN.com the idea was "preposterous" while general manager Thomas Dimitroff followed up by telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution "as it stands now, absolutely not" when asked if any moves would be made before the Oct. 29 trade deadline.
When Umenyiora was with the New York Giants, trade talk boiled over due to a contract dispute. He ending up finishing out his contract and signed a two-year, $8.5 million free-agent deal ($12.5 million max value) with the Falcons this offseason.
"Honestly, as much as we’d like to think we have control over that as players, you really don’t,’’ Umenyiora said of trades. ``If they want to get rid of you, they’ll trade you. If they don’t want to trade you, they’ll hold on to you. You just have to show up to work every day and do exactly what you’ve been doing. You have no control over it.
"In New York for me, it was just the whole contract situation. I didn’t really want to leave there. At the same time, you know you only have a limited amount of time to make a certain amount of money. I just wanted to be fairly compensated. But Tony, his situation might be a little bit different.’’
Gonzalez, who is still due a little over $4.5 million this season, previously told Fox Sports he had no desire to leave Atlanta. We will see if he reiterates those words later Thursday.