In an interview with XX 1090 AM (via, one of the radio stations in his old stomping grounds of San Diego, Saints quarterback Drew Brees recently addressed the current contract impasse involving the Chargers and running back LaDainian Tomlinson.
And if Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith ever smiles (then again, he never does), he surely wasn’t smiling after hearing what Brees had to say.
Following what seemed like 20 minutes of Brees talking about nothing that was all that compelling or humorous (with the exception of something about his wife once asking him if he had a sausage in his pocket), Brees addressed L.T.’s status.
As to whether Tomlinson should accept a reduction from the $6.725 million salary that he’s due to earn in 2009, Brees was unequivocal.
“I don’t think he should accept less money from the Chargers at this point,” Brees said, “because look at his track record . . . .  Many people could say he had a decline this year, but I disagree with that.  He was banged up for the majority of the year, and I think that’s just part of the game at times.
“I mean the guy hasn’t missed one start his entire NFL career, so if you’re going to sit here and tell me he’s, you know, not a durable guy, then you’re crazy.  Like I said I think he’s still got a lot of motivation.  I think he’s got a lot of fight and fire left in him.  And you know he can still be a very productive player.  So I don’t see any reason why he should be taking a pay cut at this point.”
So if Tomlinson refuses to take a pay cut, Brees would love to be reunited with his former San Diego teammate.
“I mean, come on, it’s an easy question,” Brees said.  “I’d love to have him in New Orleans. I’d love to be his teammate again. I think L.T.’s got a lot of great years left in him so we’ll see what happens.”
Brees also admitted to having conversations with Tomlinson, and that the conversations have touched on L.T.’s status.
And Brees at first became very coy when asked point-blank about whether he has made it known to Tomlinson that Brees would like to have him in New Orleans.
“For me, I’m just waiting for the opportunity if he is available to come and snatch him,” Brees said.
As to the specific issue of whether Brees has shared that sentiment with Tomlinson, Brees was surprisingly candid.
“I think that’s pretty obvious, don’t you think?” Brees said.
Then reminded of the tampering rules, Brees said it was “just two buddies talkin’ on the phone.”
Yeah, and soon it could be two buddies playin’ some football together, again.


  1. Drew Brees said about LDT: “I mean the guy hasn’t missed one start his entire NFL career”
    Going in a game for one series and then sitting out the rest of the game is bogus when talking about “not missing a start.” It’s total BS!
    Also isn’t what Brees is attempting to accomplish on the brink of tampering?
    LDT has declined, will further decline and is no longer is considered a force in the NFL. You can only go so far by clinging to past laurels.
    As the saying goes; “what have you done for me lately?”

  2. Hmm…IS that tampering? I mean, you can’t have rules against “two buddies talking”, can you? But then, Brees IS an employee of the Saints, right?

  3. If Brett Favre can talk to the Viking coaches some 15 times in one week last summer and it doesn’t count as tampering… there is no way that this “2 bud’s talking” comes within a thousand miles of “tampering”. I don’t think the whole Redskins/Canty/Hanesworth issue is tampering either, just a stupid rule that makes a free agent wait to go to the team he wants to go to. If the home team wants a player so bad – franchise tag him.
    But then, I don’t know what the NFL’s actual tampering rules are… and I’m pretty sure that the NFL doesn’t know what it’s own rules about tampering are either.

  4. 1000+ yards rushing, 500 yards recieving and 10+ TD’s from a guy that played hurt doesn’t seem to awful bad to me. LT’s aging for sure but lets not get rediculous

  5. You’re the lawyer Florio, help us out here. I know how much you love to talk about this tampering stuff. Is player to player contact considered tampering? I remember hearing about Peyton Manning trying to recruit Haynesworth this year at ths Pro Bowl before Free Agency started. I just assumed it meant Coaches or GM’s couldn’t contact the player about possible employment. I would think with so many players having history with each other for various reasons, it would be downright impossible to police that.

  6. If the Saints just released the aging Deuce McCallister, then why in the name of logic would they go out and sign an aging Tomlinson? Drew Brees is a great quarterback, but he is no GM, and a radio quote from a great quarterback means about as much as ME saying the Saints are going to go after LT. And I see tampering is the new hot topic this year. I don’t care who Drew works for, he could come right out and say “Hey LT, if you get realeased, my Saints are going to make a play for you,” and that wouldn’t be tampering because Brees doesn’t make that call – has nothing to do with it.

  7. The Saints would need a tough blocking fullback for L.T., like Mike Karney, who they just got rid of. Ex-Patriots FB Heath Evans was signed is an able blocker but looked upon as a more receiving/running threat as the Saints may be looking away from a power running game without Deuce. Pierre Thomas & Reggie Bush are present, but could the Saints wanna trade Bush away as Pierre Thomas looks like a fine starter? Bush hasn’t lived up to the hype, was good early last season but ended up missing 6 games with knee surgeries. L.T. & P.T. could be a good thing, for them anyway.

  8. NO one wants LT to leave san diego. But we all know the chargers have some huge 2nd contracts coming next year. Merriman, Rivers, mcneil and others.
    Every team in the league over the last years has had to let go of thier aging superstars with huge contracts. Its one of the things the nfl should really improve on so aging superstars can stay with the teams that they’ve played as these years with.

  9. darth_vincent says:
    March 8th, 2009 at 11:18 am
    “I wonder how much money the Chargers have made off LT over the years, he’s the face of the team. Honor his contract… or release him. ”
    He was the face of the team. Rivers is the face of the team now.
    Your question is backwards. How much money has LT made off of the Chargers and how long was LT the highest paid RB in the league?
    I know I am beating a dead horse. NFL contracts are not guaranteed. If he doesn’t want to renegotiate a deal that both he and the Chargers can agree to, then he ought to provide a list of teams that he is willing to be traded to. That way both the team and the player can get something out of the deal.
    This is isn’t rocket science.
    The longer this goes on, the more LT IMO, looks like a whiner.

  10. I cannot beleive that this would really be tampering…. What if a beat writer for a team started asking each player questions like that. Couldn’t that be tampering?
    Would Shawn Andrews be guilty of tampering since he and his brother talked about them playing together frequently?
    The NFL should really put an end to this tampering business. Allow a tampering session of two weeks after SB and before Free Agency. So that even if a team breaks the rules, the other teams do have a chance to get in there too.

  11. LT has definitely lost a step, but he is still a better RB than Reggie Bush. And if the Chargers weren’t so stupid they would have probably won a Championship with Brees at the HELM!!!!!!!

  12. Tomlinson missed the start against the Steelers in the Divisional round of the playoffs.
    This is tampering, and agent meddling. Tom Condon represents both Brees and Tomlinson.

  13. filbertkiwi71 says:
    March 8th, 2009 at 11:44 am
    LT and Brees would happen to have the same agent would they?
    Yes, both are represented by Tom Condon.

  14. I decided to post what the NFL’s definition of tampering so that we all have a little more clarification on exactly what the rule states.
    I got the information from a link that rasalas posted a little earlier in this same section and decided to post it for everyone. I know that there are a lot of you out there that don’t click on links, so I figured I would just copy and paste the information so that we all have a little more clarification on what the rule states. Thanks to rasalas for finding the article and posting the link, he is the one that did all the work. I am just bringing his work over here to the site. Here it is all:
    The NFL’s definition of tampering.
    The term tampering, as used within the National Football League, refers to any interference by a member club with the employer-employee relationship of another club or any attempt by a club to impermissably induce a person to seek employment with that club or with the NFL.
    The rule itself seems rather vague doesn’t it. I would actually like to see it in the NFL rule book to see if there was more to it. I don’t think Brees was tampering though, it says “any interference by a member club”. I would take that to mean the club’s coaching staff or it’s executives, not a player, but I am really not sure. If that was the case, all teams would have to do, is say “Hey Drew, we want to see if we can get Tomlinson, you used to play with him on the Chargers, can you talk to him for us, we can’t talk to him, because of the NFL’s tampering rules. It would be that simple. If anyone can provide a little more clarification on the “any interference by a member club” part that would be great!! Thanks all!!

  15. J.A. Smith has proved one thing during his tenure at San Diego.
    Eli Manning was 100% accurate when he via Will Ferrell said “Go F&ck yourself San Diego”.

  16. I hope Reggie Bush was listening. Tampering I am sure is for executives, coaches or the owner. A player cant sign a free agent or negotiate a trade. Who cares what the players say, most are dumb jocks anyways.

  17. Ladainain Tomlinson is great*.
    *when healthy.
    The problem is that you have to wonder if he can stay healthy.

  18. DanFoutsBeard says:
    March 8th, 2009 at 2:20 pm
    AJ smith is a moron if he lets LT get away.
    Change that and put a period after Moron.

  19. When Brees and LT was drafted by the Chargers, they said they would bring a Championship to San Diego. If LT is released and picked up by the Saints, Brees and LT could possibly bring a Championship to New Orleans. AJ is OUT!!!!

  20. Since Brees hasn’t admitted to “offering LT anything”, and Brees is not in the position to do so, how can you call it “tampering?” You can’t stop two players who are friends from talking about their teams, or even how they wish they could play together. That’s ridiculous. If it were to come about, hey……what fireworks!

  21. i’d love to see LT go to NO and piss off pierre thomas and ruin that team’s chemistry by letting them down due to his deteriorating body
    make it happen san diego!

  22. The intent of the tampering rule is to prevent another team from poaching or inducing staff to leave and thereby disrupting operations.
    Well AJ had already done the legwork on inducing LT to leave. It’s not like teams were trying to poach the guy. AJ’s the one who created the controversy. He’s the one who made it a topic of conversation.
    Now that the subject is a public issue, having two friends who used to be teammates talk to each other doesn’t even come close to tampering. For one, Brees doesn’t sign the deals. For another, he’s expressing his opinion of LT. This isn’t tampering.
    The Titans have an outside shot at claiming tampering with Haynesworth. But even here the spirit of the rule wasn’t broken. He was a UFA – he was going to explore his options; there was no inducement. Whether this happened a week or so before the start of free agency is really irrelevant. Their season was already over. Again, the intent of the rule was maintained by the skins. Had someone been trying to recruit Haynesworth during the season then you’d have tampering.
    Ok, now to the anal retentives who would claim that the rule is the rule and should be enforced in Haynesworth’s case. Well that’s silly. Here’s why. A team should have time prior to free agency to prepare its offers to players, and players should have a chance to give feedback on these offers. Because free agency shouldn’t be a competition to see whose legal teams are the best at rolling paperwork under a clock. It should be about what’s best for the players and the teams. The decisions should be mostly made prior to the start of free agency about where a player is going to go, particularly in the case of high profile players like Haynesworth who will be the first to go. Why? Because it allows the picture to be clearer for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th choice type of guys, which in turn allows them to get better deals and teams to make better choices. A team who has a player who is about to be a UFA will have already had months and months to arrange a deal. That they can’t get one worked at before the start of free agency, and another team begins to express interest a week or so before, doesn’t create a competitive disadvantage for the home team. If anything, foreknowledge of a competing offer helps the home team, because they should know where they stand and should be in a better position to pull the trigger on their other options if need be. And frankly if they can’t seal the deal with their UFA prior to its start, it’s their own damn fault.
    All said, the tampering rule needs to be rephrased such that the intent is clarified. And league positions on when an agent can start negotiating with other teams prior to the start of free agency should be clarified and aligned with the realities of how these decisions go down. There’s no point in making an unenforceable rule which is arbitrary (and stupid) to begin with. All this does is invite it to be broken and reduces the authority of the league. Or if replacing one ambiguous rule with another isn’t amenable, they should drop the facade entirely and make it clear that they will only consider cases where the operations of a team are clearly damaged by another teams involvement DURING THE SEASON.

  23. I would love to see this happen.. It would be another great distraction for the opposing teams defense to focus on…

  24. See, I think a long-term contract (longer than LT’s likely career, like maybe 5 years) with a lot of guaranteed money and a lot of incentives but a low salary would be in everybody’s interest. LT would know he’s getting much of what he’d be getting otherwise (not all, but that wasn’t really going to happen), and the Chargers would be able to save money by reducing his load if he continues to decline. San Diego and LT both gain a PR win if LT retires from the Chargers rather than going to another team.

  25. It wouldn’t “piss” Pierre Thomas off. Pierre is a classy guy, and a very good player…one day probably a great player. He understudied under one of the best…Deuce McAllister, and did you watch and see how Deuce reacted when they brought Reggie in? Did he whine and throw a fit? Nope, he went on business as usual with the quiet confidence that makes him the person/player that he is. And that, I feel, is how PT would react.

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