The Atlanta Falcons have pulled the trigger on making the second biggest trade of the 2009 NFL offseason. The Chiefs gave up the future Hall of Fame tight end for a 2nd round draft pick in the 2010 draft. For now, we have an initial reaction from Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff on the deal. He joined WCNN in Atlanta late Thursday to talk about the deal:
On if this move signals a sense of urgency by Atlanta to try to win it all right now:
We really feel he’s very much in the prime of his career, he’s in incredible shape for a veteran football player, we still think he can do it for a number of years. That said, it also enables us the opportunity because we moved a 2010 2nd round pick to truly concentrate on this draft.”
On why a 2010 2nd rounder instead of this year:
“When the discussions started it was something I felt strongly about as far as future because again in comes back to the fact that we really wanted to have two back-to-back, fully, and fairly complete drafts – at least at the front end of the draft.”
How did your relationship with Scott Pioli come into play here?
“Going forward fellas, I’m a firm believer in having that right ally around the league and having a strong relationship is very important. Scott and I are obviously very close. It’s knowing that you’re always going to get a fair deal done and no one is going to take anyone else to the cleaners so to speak.”