Inside The Bills

Gonzo trade to Falcons could make Pettigrew slip

Posted by Chris Brown on April 23, 2009 – 6:59 pm

If you’re assuming that Pettigrew would make it past the Eagles at 21 (if Philly takes Moreno) don’t go crazy thinking that the Oklahoma State TE will make it down to the Bills at 28 just because the Falcons got their tight end in Tony Gonzalez via trade.

I think there’s a distinct possibility that Baltimore will scoop Pettigrew up at 26. They want another weapon for Flacco that can help in the intermediate passing game, with Derrick Mason on his last legs, and Pettigrew can do that as well as help in the run game with his blocking.

I know they signed L.J. Smith and still have Todd Heap, but both are never healthy and neither really block well. I know they’ve got to infuse some youth into their defense, but GM Ozzie Newsome (a former TE) likely sees a 10-year player at the position in Pettigrew. Hope I’m wrong.

If he slides past the Ravens too, the Bills should be home free. 

Tony Gonzalez finally got his wish and he gets to go to a playoff team to boot. Atlanta may have overpaid giving up a 2nd-round pick in 2010 for the veteran TE, but there’s no question they upgraded big time. That’s a premier offense now with Turner in the backfield and White on the outside.


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Gonzalez waffling on going or staying with Chiefs

Posted by Chris Brown on February 5, 2009 – 2:57 pm

Tony Gonzalez says the Yahoo Sports story that ran Wednesday claiming he still wants out of KC misrepresented what he said. So in a FoxSports story today he claims that he’s willing to wait and see what moves GM Scott Pioli makes in terms of a head coach and free agency before deciding on whether he prefers to stick around ask to be traded… again.

Still in the new story he says he’s still not convinced that the Chiefs will be true contenders again before his career is over, indicating that he probably does still want to go somewhere else.

All I’ve got to say is make up your mind Gonzo and stick to it. All this waffling is doing nothing but hurting his credibility.


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Chiefs receiving corps nicked up

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2008 – 9:09 pm

Chiefs starting WR Mark Bradley (calf), starting G Adrian Jones (ankle), starting OLB Donnie Edwards (knee/hamstring) and TE Tony Gonzalez (knee) all did not practice Wednesday.

Obviously if none of them practice again Thursday it greatly reduces their chances of playing on Sunday against the Bills.

Gonzalez left last week’s game on two separate occasions with his knee injury, but he’s only missed two games in his entire career so if he doesn’t play it would be very surprising.

Limited in practice for Kansas City were DE Tamba Hali (ankle), S Jarrad Page (groin), LB Pat Thomas (thigh) and CB Patrick Surtain (quad).


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Gonzo healthy to play against Bills?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2008 – 7:41 pm

Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez left Kansas City’s game against the Saints on two occasions due to an ankle injury. He came back the first time, but left a second time in the third quarter.

No word on what his availability will be for Sunday’s game against Kansas City, though the prevailing opinion is he’ll play as he’s known as one of the most durable tight ends in the league.

Gonzalez would be a handful without Whitner in the lineup, though Bryan Scott has done an admirable job thus far this season.


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Gonzalez didn’t want to play for the Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2008 – 2:01 pm

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Kansas City Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez did not want to play for the Bills or Falcons, who were among the suitors for his services. 

The Packers were apparently the closest to landing Gonzalez as they offered a third-round pick as did the Eagles, but as has been reported Chiefs GM Carl Peterson suddenly demanded a 2nd rounder minutes before the deadline effectively blowing the deal up.

According to the report though the Bills and Falcons both made better offers than just a straight third-round pick, but as was reported Gonzalez didn’t want to play for Buffalo or Atlanta. I guess up and coming teams weren’t good enough for him.

So if you’re going to be traveling to see the Bills play at KC later this season (Nov. 23) be sure to give Gonzo an earful about ruling out Buffalo, especially when Buffalo is kicking KC’s tail.


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Gonzalez angry over no trade

Posted by Chris Brown on October 15, 2008 – 1:38 pm

Can’t say I’m surprised to see this one. After asking for a trade and probably going about things the right way, Tony Gonzalez wasn’t moved and is ticked.

He was told by Chiefs management that a 3rd round pick would get it done. Two teams reportedly offered a 3rd round pick for Gonzalez, but Chiefs GM Carl Peterson reportedly began holding firm to a 2nd round pick for compensation. The interested teams wouldn’t budge.

Gonzalez told FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer that he talked to Peterson who indicated that a 3rd round pick would do it, and also said he knows there were two teams that offered a third, one of which is believed to be the Bills.

“Last night I talked to Carl (Peterson, Chiefs President and GM) and I point-blank asked him what it would take to get it done,” Gonzalez told Glazer. “I wanted to know if it could happen with a fourth (-round pick). He started talking about a second and a fifth like the Shockey deal. Nobody is going to trade a second for a 32-year-old tight end. All along Carl said he would do something that works for both parties. Then he talked about how he traded a third for Willie Roaf, and he made it pretty clear to me that’s what was going to get it done. That was certainly fair. I know teams offered a third and in the end, Carl made the asking price a second. I’m very disappointed that he didn’t go through with it after he told me he was going to try to make it happen.”

If in fact the Bills were one of the two teams that reportedly offered a third for Gonzalez it looks like the only person to blame in the failure of this trade going through is Kansas City’s front office.


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Cardinals are a part of Gonzalez mix

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2008 – 6:24 pm

According to WarpaintIllustrated.com the Arizona Cardinals have been in contact with the Chiefs about acquiring Tony Gonzalez. The report indicates the Cards are not happy with the production they’re getting out of Leonard Pope and Ben Patrick.

While I understand Pope has been a disappointment in terms of production and injuries, Patrick is still developing.

I was interviewed on a Kansas City radio station this morning and they were of the belief that the Cardinals were in the mix too.

In any event the suitors for Gonzalez are reportedly up to six teams, but this late in the game (2pm) I’d imagine that list has gotten smaller at this point.


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Gonzalez suitor list up to five

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2008 – 1:51 pm

Everyone is aware that the Bills, Giants and Eagles have all been mentioned as possible trade suitors for Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez. But the Packers were mentioned in a few reports Monday and now the Buccaneers are apparently in the mix as well. That according to the NY Daily News, which is also reporting that Gonzalez specifically requested a trade to the Giants.


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NFC East rivals could drive up price for Gonzalez

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2008 – 5:48 pm

With NFC East rivals Philadelphia and the NY Giants in the running for Tony Gonzalez’s services via trade it could drive up the price for the perennial Pro Bowl tight end. WarpaintIllustrated.com, a team outfit under the Scout.com umbrella is reporting that the Bills have offered a third-round pick for Gonzalez.

Meanwhile they’re reporting that the Giants are willing to offer more than their original offer of a 6th round selection. If Philadelphia and the Giants start competing with one another naturally the asking price goes up, which could make things more difficult for a team like Buffalo if they are in fact a part of these trade talks, which has not been confirmed by One Bills Drive to this point.


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Gonzalez update

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2008 – 1:11 pm

FOX Sport’s Jay Glazer spoke to Tony Gonzalez, who confirmed he asked Chiefs President/GM Carl Peterson to seek a trade for him. On FOX Sports Sunday, Glazer also said that Kansas City was initially asking for a 2nd and 5th round pick, but may take less with the trade deadline fast approaching (Tuesday 4pm).

There have also been reports (ESPN News) that the Chiefs asking price is a “first round pick and change.” So exactly what the Chiefs would settle for is unclear.

Gonzalez wants to go to a team that can contend for a title. Most reports tab the Giants as a likely destination, but according to Glazer the Giants aren’t overly interested.

In light of the AFC picture right now, I don’t think it’s unrealistic to say the Bills are a playoff contender and Gonzalez would make them that much more formidable. But if the Chiefs are looking for a first-round pick and change, that’s a lot to give up.

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.


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ESPN News report on Gonzalez and Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on October 11, 2008 – 6:48 pm

Though there are no links to any written stories on their website, ESPN News (TV) is reporting that the Bills are one of several teams “known to have inquired about” Kansas City TE Tony Gonzalez. According to ESPN News the asking price is starting at a 1st round pick “and change.” The network did not attribute their report to any of their NFL beat reporters.

Gonzalez has been reportedly interested in making a move to a contending team as the Chiefs are in full blown rebuilding mode. The perennial Pro Bowl tight end is signed through 2011 at reasonable base salaries for a player of his caliber ($1M in ’08, $4M in ’09, $4.5M in ’10, $5.75M in ’11), though $17M of his most recent contract in guaranteed and could include some of the base salaries listed above.

A first-round pick and then some is a lot to surrender, but Gonzalez has been one of the most durable tight ends in the league and at 32 likely has at least two more productive seasons in him.

We’ll do our best to keep you updated on the possibility of Gonzalez being moved by the Chiefs prior to the Tuesday trade deadline. The Eagles are another team that has been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Gonzalez as well as the Giants.


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Fan Friday Q&A

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2008 – 6:57 pm

Don’t forget if you have a question just e-mail me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and I’ll do my best to get all your questions answered.

Let’s get to it.

1. I know each opponent is different and handle things differently. It seems over the last couple games the Bills are not blitzing as much. Is that because they think just rushing four is getting the job done?
Adam Janik

CB: The Bills did blitz Arizona early, but according to the coaching staff they were just outexecuted by a very sharp Kurt Warner. The quick passing game is the popular offensive answer to defeating an effective pass rush and it’s worked at times against the Bills. It’s not anything that the Bills front four aren’t doing so much as it is what the opponent is doing.

That being said I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more press coverage to keep opposing quarterbacks from going so quickly to their first reads. With signal callers like Phillip Rivers, Chad Pennington and Brett Favre coming up who know how to execute short passing games and make quick decisions, more bump and run may be in order to help the pass rushers up front.

2. Chris,
The thought crossed my mind that we have a lot of potential offensive weapons sitting on the sidelines most games.  Has there been or will there ever be talk about using McKelvin like the Bears used Hester on offense? What about trying a few of the circus tricks like bring Morman in as a Receiver or put Losman out wide (with a non-green dot helmet) like Atlanta would do with Mike Vick at times.  Based on the success Ronnie Brown had against the Patriots I can’t help but think a lot of teams are going to entertain the idea of using gadget plays to throw opposing defenses off or, at the very least, force them to burn a timeout.  Any of this possible?
 
Eric in Maryland

CB: While the Bills are not opposed to pulling the occasional surprise (see: special teams) Dick Jauron as a matter of philosophy is not a big fan of trick plays. He believes you do what you do best and challenge the opponent to try to stop it.

Now don’t think that Jauron is narrow-minded. Quite the contrary. Jauron just doesn’t believe you win consistently by using trickery, and I think he’s right. That being said Jauron is open to an unexpected play at the right time (e.g. Denney’s TD catch vs. Seattle), but putting McKelvin on offense would be putting too much on the rookie’s plate and Losman at receiver is a bit far-fetched as I see it.

3. Through the last three games, how has Ellison graded out at LB? Also, why does he play the strong side backer, when as I recall, he played the weak side for much of his earlier time in Buffalo?
 
Dick from Florida

CB: You are right. Ellison did play on the weak side last season, but this past offseason he was moved to the strong side to serve as Angelo Crowell’s backup. Ellison has been steady as far as I see it and he only has a couple of missed tackles by my count on the year. He’s good in coverage and a smart player. I know he’s not the biggest linebacker around, but playing alongside Posluszny and Mitchell and with a player like Stroud up on the line his size is not an issue.

4. Hi Chris,
 
What’s up with the letters “GU” on the players’ jerseys?  Thanks.  Gerry, West Virginia

CB: That patch is to honor Hall of Fame offensive lineman and former Executive Director of the NFL Players Association Gene Upshaw who died right before the regular season from pancreatic cancer. On opening week you may have noticed that each NFL home field had a giant GU symbol painted onto the field. Now for the rest of the season every NFL player jersey will have that patch on the shoulder.

5. Sorry to see Roscoe go down as he was off to a productive season and look forward to his return. With Parrish sidelined any chance of the Bills going with Evans and Reed as the wideouts and having Steve Johnson take that slot position? I think this kid has great hands and can run some nice routes. What do you think?
 
Randy C

CB: I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Steve Johnson since OTAs in the spring. He’s got a pro body already and is only going to get stronger in an NFL strength and conditioning program. I agree his hands are good. He doesn’t drop much of anything. While I certainly think he’s capable of playing the slot, at his size I’d anticipate seeing him outside a bit more. At 6’2”, 202 he’s a nice target out wide.

All that being said getting playing time is going to be tough for him. You don’t want to have too many inexperienced players on the field at once. So knowing they’re trying to get Hardy more involved each week, Johnson is probably not going to be on the field at the same time. Both rookie wideouts have made progress, but having them play important roles right away is probably not going to happen unless there’s another injury at the position.

6. Hi Chris-
I always like to look ahead to the draft, and I was wondering if you had thoughts on the Bills’ biggest needs.  Perhaps you could shed some light on the impending free agents, etc.

Michael
Bethlehem, PA

CB: I don’t like discussing draft needs during the season because one major injury could change the whole draft picture for the Bills (e.g. Kevin Everett). So I’d prefer to wait until the end of the season on that.

As for impending free agents, the unrestricted ones are as follows, Kirk Chambers, Angelo Crowell, Melvin Fowler, Jabari Greer, J.P. Losman, Duke Preston and Jason Whittle. As for restricted free agents on first glance I have John DiGiorgio, Keith Ellison, Corey McIntyre and George Wilson.

7. Dear Chris,
 
During the game against St. Louis I was thinking they might put Omon in to finish off the clock (no sense in letting Lynch or Freddy get hurt), however I noticed he was inactive.  With Barnes also out for the game who would carry the ball if Lynch or Jackson went down?  Only 2 RB’s on game day seems a little risky.  Thanks again for all your hard work.
Sincerely,
Travis Van De Water
 
CB: I don’t know this for sure, but the most likely candidate in my opinion would be Josh Reed. He was recruited by LSU as a running back before being transitioned to receiver. So I would be willing to bet he would be the emergency running back option if both of the top two backs succumbed to injury in a game.

8. Hey Chris,
 
Have you heard any talk of a possible trade with KC for Tony Gonzalez?  I hear chatter on the message boards, but don’t know if there it trully any legit talk going on.  I believe he has 3-4 good years left, and would be an outstanding addition to our offense.  Your thoughts?
 
Jason
“Bills fan in Kansas”

CB: The trade rumors have surfaced due to an NFL Network blog on Gonzalez from a few weeks ago. Could he be traded? Sure, for the right price. What that price is would likely be a high draft pick and probably another as the Chiefs are looking to rebuild. I don’t know if you can get one of the highest-paid tight ends in the game for anything less than a 2nd and a 4th round pick.

Jeremy Shockey, who came with behavioral baggage and an injury history, got the Giants a 2nd and 5th round pick from the Saints.

Gonzalez is one of the most durable tight ends in the game, so I think it would take at least that much compensation and probably more. Despite the price it would cost to land him, his base salary is pretty palatable. He’s only slated to make $1M in base salary this season before it jumps up to $4M in 2009, $4.5M in 2010 and $5.75M in 2011. Now $17 million of his salary was guaranteed when he signed a five-year extension in Jan. of 2007, so some of that base salary might be guaranteed.

If I’m the Chiefs I’d consider it knowing how much help they need at several positions, but Gonzalez is still very productive and the biggest help in taking attention off the Chiefs’ run game.

As for whether the Bills are interested, I think any team would be interested in adding Tony Gonzalez to their roster. I just think the cost to land him would scare a lot of teams off along with his age 32. Teams often fear paying a big price for a player that could be close to hitting the wall and not getting the proper return on their investment.

Buffalo’s most likely answer for that position could be in the draft with Missouri’s Chase Coffman. At 6’6”, 245 the guy is a mismatch in the passing game. He’s also got good bloodlines with his dad a former NFL tight end for the Green Bay Packers. Waiting to address that position further would be worth it if they can land this guy in late April.

9. I am curious about the release of Darian Barnes, as are many others.  How badly was his foot injured and how long until he would be 100%?
 
McIntyre looks to be a hard nosed guy that would work well with April and the ST forces, based a couple interviews I read when he was a Falcon.
 
Any other reason than injury to move away from Darian???
 
Thanks,
Bryan Vince

CB: I didn’t get the feeling from Darian when I asked him about his foot that it was going to be a lingering problem. I doubt his foot was why he was released. I just think they were looking for a more versatile special teams fullback. Yes, Barnes spent time on the kick return unit, but I think Barnes was a fullback first and a special teamer second. McIntyre from what I understand is equally good in both areas. He made his bones on special teams and can play on all four units. This was a way to upgrade special teams and not really lose anything at the fullback position. I don’t think injury played a role at all in that move.

10. It seems to me that for the last two weeks our offense is “cold” in the first half. They struggle to find a rhythm. Have the coaches considered going with the no huddle for the first series of a game?  Especially in a game like the Chargers. It might get Trent in the zone and throw off the defense.
 
I’d call Dick personally and suggest this but I misplaced his number.
 
Best,
John

CB: Good one John. I think what you’ve suggested is a great idea. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if we see it sooner rather than later. It wouldn’t shock me if the Bills are waiting to use that for some of their more important AFC Conference games. I don’t know that, but I wouldn’t mind seeing that myself in light of the slow starts we’ve seen at times this season.


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