Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  By Staff  |  Last updated 2/7/14

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 13: Tony Gonzalez #88 of the Atlanta Falcons against the Miami Dolphins at Georgia Dome on September 13, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
On the surface, it seems pointless to debate the status of a quarterback who has accounted for 13,411 yards passing and 90 total touchdowns over the last three seasons, with an NFC championship appearance thrown into the mix. And yet, here we are, thanks to Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez. Citing an ESPN The Magazine article that's due to hit the shelves soon, the future Hall of Famer had some interesting things to say about QB Matt Ryan ... along with his final season in Atlanta, supposedly the swan-song year of an amazing career. Regarding Ryan's possible status as an "elite" QB, Gonzalez said, "Matt's an excellent quarterback. But he's not elite. He's thisclose. He'll get there, but he has some learning to do." Gonzalez's candid comment could be construed in various ways. On one hand, it sounds like Gonzalez may be questioning Ryan's overall place in the pantheon of quarterbacks, especially in lieu of the Falcons passer's $20 million annual salary (contract extension signed last ...
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