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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Tony Gonzalez understands the logic behind all the trade talk.
The Atlanta Falcons tight end realizes plenty of folks want to see him walk away from the NFL wearing his first Super Bowl ring. That would explain the 37-year-old's willingness to address trade rumors, even if the topic has become a recurring distraction for the 2-5 Falcons.
|Tony Gonzalez says he isn't asking to say goodbye to the Atlanta Falcons as the trade deadline nears.|
"I totally understand it," Gonzalez told ESPN.com late Monday. "Everybody out there needs to understand that I'm not naive to it. I see it, too. This is the last [nine] weeks of my career. And right now, things are looking ... you never know.
"But, like I said, I love my guys on this team too much to go ask for a trade. It would be something that would come from them where they said, 'Hey, it makes sense because we could get something good for you and send you to a team that's a contender.' So I understand the thought process behind that."
Gonzalez even referenced a comment made by a television analyst.
"When Jimmy Johnson says that it would be respectful of [the Falcons], I see that," Gonzalez said about the Fox analyst who said the team should sit down with Gonzalez and ask him whether he wants to play for a contender. "And like I said, if that's something they wanted to do and they asked me, then, yeah, I would listen to them, of course. Yes, I would sit down with them.
"You've always got to listen to them in anything. I don't care if you're not open to it or [are], you still listen and see what's up."
The Falcons have made it clear they have no intention of trading Gonzalez. Coach Mike Smith called the idea "preposterous," and general manager Thomas Dimitroff fully supported his coach's stance. The desire not to trade Gonzalez goes all the way to the top of the organization.
But what if a team such as the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, who have made it clear they would take Gonzalez back with opened arms, makes an offer to get Gonzalez out of Atlanta before Tuesday's trade deadline?
"We'll know by  o'clock tomorrow," Gonzalez said. "But, like I said, I'm not going to be the one to go asking for a trade. It will have to come from them."
Gonzalez is still owed $3.7 million this season. The Falcons acquired him in 2010 from the Chiefs in exchange for a second-round draft pick. That pick ended up being Javier Arenas, now a backup cornerback and kick returner for the Arizona Cardinals.