Tony Gonzalez has officially left the football field for the broadcast booth. We're not sure if the future Hall of Fame tight end was courted by more than one network before joining "The NFL Today" on CBS, but it's fair to wonder whether Gonzalez preferred to stay away from ESPN and NFL Network.
That's because the former Kansas City Chief and Atlanta Falcon is still upset about the way those two media organizations framed comments he made about quarterback Matt Ryan.
Gonzalez said Ryan wasn't "elite." He doesn't dispute that, but he claims there was more to it.
“There was no firestorm,” Gonzalez said. “They pulled quotes from that article a couple of days before it came out, so now you’re not getting the whole story. ESPN was biased about it and so was the NFL Network. I saw the ticker where it said, ‘Tony calls out his former quarterback’ or whatever. Which is ridiculous.”
Gonzalez and Ryan are good friends. He insists he never called Ryan out but feels his comments were misconstrued and cherry-picked.
“Matt’s an excellent quarterback,” Gonzalez told ESPN The Magazine's Seth Wickersham. ”But he’s not elite. He’s this close.”
Maybe there was more to that comment. Wickersham spent much of the season profiling Gonzalez and the feature generally received glowing reviews. I think the problem is that Gonzalez feels he was slighted by the editorial process. It would be interesting to get Wickersham's take on that, as well as brass at NFL Network.
The thing is, Gonzalez has been dealing with the media for two decades. He's savvy. He knows when he's been screwed, whether it was deliberate or the result of lazy producers and/or editors. That might have been the case here, and it might have impacted his decision on where to take his broadcasting talents now that he's retired.