Deadline Passes, Gonzalez Remains In KC

The NFL trade deadline passed without the Chiefs trading tight end Tony Gonzalez or running back Larry Johnson or anyone else for that matter. What's next for this organization? What will Herm Edwards do to rally this football team?

In the frantic last few hours of the trade deadline, three teams made a push to obtain Gonzalez. The New York Giants offered a sixth-round pick, while the Philadelphia Eagles offered a fifth rounder. Lastly, the Arizona Cardinals made some inquiries about Gonzalez, but their interest per a league source was based on Gonzalez restructuring his current contract. That was rebuffed by agent Tom Condon and thus no trade was made.

Earlier in the day the New York Jets called about running back Larry Johnson. The rumor was they were offering a third-rounder for KC's running back. According to our league source that wasn't the case. If it were, Johnson would have likely been traded.

But that's the least of Johnson's problems right now based on his recent legal problems. Head Coach Herm Edwards was non-committal at his Tuesday press conference concerning LJ's status for Sunday's game against the undefeated Tennessee Titans.

The NFL does not need a guilty plea to act on any possible game suspensions, and in the wake of Pacman Jones' suspension, Johnson's troubles come at the wrong time. Jones was on probation after serving a 17-month sentence while Johnson has never been suspended by the NFL or the Chiefs for anything, but the bottom line is that Edwards was clear about the distractions fueled by his players today. He does not want those distractions lingering at any level that prevents his team from winning.

That's what has been lost in all this madness. Edwards now has the task of trying to deal with the last 72 hours of chaos while somehow finding a way to beat the Titans on Sunday. That task has become much harder.

The silver lining is that now some young players have the opportunity to establish themselves as leaders, because it's safe to assume that neither Tony Gonzalez or Larry Johnson will be playing long term for this organization.

Gonzalez made it clear he wanted out, and Johnson hasn't been running as he did in previous years. Now is the time for others to step up, and my guess is that Edwards will likely pass out those opportunities over the remainder of the 2008 season.

In the end the trade deadline went over with a thud. Sometimes doing nothing is for the best, but in that event everyone better be prepared to do business differently over the final 11 games.

If not, there will be a lot more to talk at season's end that will pale in comparison to what we went through as fans the last three days.

WarpaintIllustrated.com Top Stories