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Former Chiefs GM Carl Peterson thinks Tony Gonzalez is ‘without question’ the best tight end in NFL history

More than a decade before the Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce further expanded the scope of what seemed possible for tight ends, Tony Gonzalez was changing the position forever.

The 2019 Hall of Fame inductee finished his career with 1,325 catches, 15,127 receiving yards, and 111 touchdowns, the first two marks ranking as the most ever by a tight end in NFL history.

Carl Peterson, the man who drafted Gonzalez with a first-round pick in 1997 as the Chiefs’ general manager, had a front-row seat for the majority of the 17-year veteran’s prime.

In the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast, Peterson showered Gonzalez with praise befitting a legend:

“Without question,” Peterson replied when asked if Gonzalez is the best tight end ever.

“I don’t know that I’ve seen one better,” he continued. “There have been some exceptional ones. There are a couple young guys (today). There’s a guy in Kansas City right now (Travis Kelce) who’s certainly on his way to a Pro [Football] Hall-of-Fame career if he continues. But Tony did it all. And what he couldn’t do well…if you want to say that…he learned how to do it.”

Peterson clearly wasn’t referencing Gonzalez’s receiving ability as a relative weakness. Indeed, the former college basketball player wasn’t an effective blocker until midway through his career.

But with a one-track mindset of always improving, Peterson says Gonzalez developed into a crucial component of the Chiefs’ rushing attack.

“We had three or four 1,000-yard rushers for five, six years, and he was a big part of that because he could position just anybody with his athleticism and seal people off,” he said. “But he wanted to do that. He wanted to be the best on every snap.”

Earlier this month, Gonzalez became the first tight end in NFL history to be elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.