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Cheifs Chatter


Condon's answer was pathetic
5/16/02

by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

The initial salvo has been fired. The propaganda war is underway. You’re up next, Mr. Condon——who will your letter be addressed to?

Chiefs Chatter, The Landmark 5/13/02

****

Cue the agent.

Predictably and right on cue, Tom Condon, the agent for Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez, answered Chiefs GM Carl Peterson just two days after this question was asked in CK Rairden’s May 13th column.

The trouble with his answer —it was pathetic. Condon’s concerns were printed in the KC Star and relayed by columnist Jason Whitlock. His claim: Carl Peterson misled fans by saying that Gonzalez walked away from richest contract in franchise history.

“Condon said that while it’s true the Chiefs offered his client a seven-year deal worth $31.5 million, Gonzalez’s proposed contract is in essence a five-year deal worth $19.5 million.

The final two years of the contract, worth $12 million, were added to make Gonzalez’s proposed $8 million signing bonus salary-cap-friendly, a common practice in NFL contracts. He said those years, valued at $5.5 million and $6.5 million respectively, are voidable and are not expected to be honored by the club or player.

For now, former defensive tackle Chester McGlockton still holds the franchise record for richest contract — a five-year, $28.8 million pact signed in 1998. As part of that deal, McGlockton received a record-tying $7.5 million signing bonus, the same as Derrick Thomas in 1997,” Whitlock relayed to his readers.

Uh—okay. Why didn’t you go ahead and point out how bad your client is getting screwed by the rate of inflation and the compensatory income tax rates in California, the state in which Gonzo resides.

This will not win over anyone.

****

I’m a giver. It’s just my way and I would like to help Tony Gonzalez out. Tell Tom Condon to shut up. Condon’s PR skills are not very good. If Condon keeps this up, Gonzo will come across as what he has stated that he fears. He will be perceived as just another greedy athlete.

I have heard Gonzo do radio interviews and he says all the right things.

****

He told Sporting News radio host James Brown that he is working out three hours a day. He mentioned that Marcus Allen once advised him not to take contract negotiations personally.

He said that he would be ready once the deal gets done, and would “hit the ground flying.”

“I want to be a Kansas City Chief,” Gonzalez told Brown on Monday. “I wish I was out there with the guys. I don’t want to leave Kansas City, as soon as this gets worked out—I’m gonna go play some football.”

He even played down his NBA dreams, “If I can’t do it (play in the NBA) this year, I’m going to hang (the dream of playing in the NBA) up.”

Now that is good PR.

****

Chiefs’ fans love to hear that Tony loves KC, wants to be here, wants a deal done and will be ready when it is finally accomplished.

Condon’s inane mathematical ramblings are bad PR. Chiefs’ fans don’t want to argue semantics over who has the biggest contract in KC history by a fraction.

Peterson took some heat by firing off a letter to The KC Star criticizing Gonzo and his agent, but in hindsight it may have worked. It immediately put Condon on the defensive and forced him to answer the charge.

His answer failed.

****

Peterson may have finally found someone who comes across in the press more poorly than he. For his own sake, Gonzo needs to keep Condon off the air and out of the newspaper. Let him negotiate the deal and handle the contract. Gonzo needs to use his own charisma and good sense to work the media.

(CK Rairden can be reached at ckden11@msn.com)