Falcons Acquire TE Tony Gonzalez From Chiefs - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Falcons Acquire TE Tony Gonzalez From Chiefs

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ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons boosted their hopes for another trip to the NFL 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 this year 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.

Gonzalez caught 96 passes for 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2008. He owns NFL career records for tight ends with 916 receptions, 10,940 yards receiving, 76 touchdowns receiving and 26 100-yard receiving games.

One of the most popular athletes Kansas City has ever had in any sport, Gonzalez said leaving the town and its fans was not easy.

"I love Kansas City," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "The fans have been unbelievable to me. I'm going to miss them. This is a happy day for me, but in many ways it's a sad day, too. I'm going to miss running out that tunnel and seeing that sea of red in those stands."

When he was drafted in the first round, he had just turned 21.

"And now I'm leaving at 33. It's been a huge part of my life," he said. "When I retire, I'm going to retire a Chief. It's been a beautiful, beautiful ride in Kansas City. I'm not selling my home there."

He also plans to keep his window-cleaning business, Xtreme Clean 88, in Kansas City and be active in Shadow Buddies, a Kansas City-based charity which distributes kits and educational materials to kids and the elderly.

"Kansas City will always be a big part of my life," he said. "At the same time, I don't know how many years I have left to play. Now I'm looking forward to making a Super Bowl run in Atlanta. I hope the fans in Kansas City will understand."

Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli said it wasn't easy to trade the star, who played in 188 regular-season games for Kansas City.

"From an organizational as well as personal standpoint there are mixed emotions," Pioli said. "I have the highest personal and professional respect for Tony and consider him to be a future Pro Football Hall of Famer."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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