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Forget What I Said Earlier: Falcons Get Tony Gonzalez

A week ago the report was that this deal was dead.  Guess what?  It wasn't dead.

The Atlanta Falcons boosted their hopes for another trip to the playoffs by acquiring tight end Tony Gonzalez from the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday for a draft pick next year.

The Chiefs insisted they also improved their chances for success in 2009 by making the trade.

The Falcons will send a second-round pick in 2010 to Kansas City in exchange for Gonzalez, the only tight end in NFL history selected to 10 Pro Bowls.

I love this trade.  Not because of Gonzalez -- he'll have less fantasy value in Atlanta than he would've had in Kansas City.   The Chiefs threw the ball at Gonzalez all day because they HAD to.  The Falcons aren't in that situation.   

It's the way this trade affects the rest of the Falcons that I love.  Matt Ryan's value goes up now that he has a reliable outlet option.  Michael Turner gets better blocking.  Roddy White and Michael Jenkins get somebody to take away defensive coverage.  Matt Ryan (yes, I'm mentioning him again) now has a true red zone target -- Gonzalez had as many TDs last season as White and Jenkins combined! This is a huge increase in the fantasy value of the Atlanta Falcons.

On the other side, I don't think the Chiefs suffer as much as you might think.  Cassel was brought in to throw the ball down field, and that's what he'll do.  He loses blocking -- as does Larry Johnson/Jamaal Charles -- but that's something I expect the Chiefs will deal with at the draft.  Jamaal Charles should see more passes thrown to him out of the backfield.

Fantasy-wise, this trade makes the Falcons offense much better and makes the Chiefs offense a little worse.  Considering everybody was going to draft Falcons and were wary of Chiefs anyway, this is a good thing. 

Now that a team icon like Tony Gonzalez has been traded, I wonder if Larry Johnson is the next one out the door?