Ninth straight Pro Bowl marks another notch for Chiefs Gonzalez Print
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Wednesday, 19 December 2007 12:19
NFL Headline News

 KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -One more year is all Tony Gonzalez needs to become the most productive tight end in the history of the National Football League.
The question for Kansas City's nine-time Pro Bowler is whether he'll spend that year as a Chief.
He'd like to. But major changes are afoot at Arrowhead Stadium and even at 32, he would probably be worth some valuable draft choices if the frantically rebuilding Chiefs should elect to trade one of their greatest players of all time in the autumn of his career.
``It's a legitimate thought on their part,'' Gonzalez said. ``If they traded me away, they could probably get some pretty good players for me. Knock on wood, I haven't had anything major happen to me. In fact, I feel like I'm probably playing my best football right now. It's a possibility for them, from an organizational standpoint, and for me, too.''
Despite another terrific year from Gonzalez, the Chiefs offense this season has been one of the worst in the league. Going into Sunday's game at Detroit, he's second among NFL tight ends with 82 catches and 971 yards receiving. Yet the Chiefs are 4-10 with a seven-game losing streak, averaging only 271.6 yards - 31st among the 32 NFL teams.
With 66 career touchdown catches, he leads all NFL tight ends. He needs just 13 catches and 380 yards receiving to set the all-time tight end record in those categories as well.
But the Chiefs aren't anywhere close to contending for the Super Bowl championship Gonzalez has always dreamed of and probably won't be next year, or the year after.
The reality is starting to set in that unless he does get traded to a contender, Gonzalez could wind up a great career without a single appearance in his sport's biggest game.
``I think about that a lot. All the time. I was thinking about it this morning while I was lifting weights,'' he said. ``Really, I'm getting a little scared about it. I always felt that I was going to be able to get a championship as a Chief.''
Nevertheless, he still feels like he'd like to stick it out and remain a Chief.
``I'm not going to go out there and beat myself up if a championship doesn't happen,'' he said. ``I've done a lot of other good things, too. I've worked too hard to look back and say I wasted my time in Kansas City.
``At least I got to go out there and play the game I love for all these years, and with one team. So you take the good with the bad.''
The fact he was voted into his ninth straight Pro Bowl while on such a bad team is a reflection of the respect his peers have for him.
``You realize how fortunate you are. I've had such a blast,'' he said. ``If I wanted to, I think I could play another five years. We'll see how it goes. I'm coming back next year for sure, but the year after that? I don't know. I really don't. If the team's going in the right direction, I'll be on board. If I see we've got a legitimate shot, I'll be here.''
In the meantime, Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said running back Larry Johnson remained questionable for Sunday even though he did a little more work in practice on Wednesday than he's done since injuring his foot on Nov. 4. The two-time Pro Bowler has missed six straight games.
``Larry did a little more, but he's still limited,'' Edwards said. ``He got a little sore. We'll see where he's at.''
 

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