D-DAY FOR L.T., CHARGERS IS THREE WEEKS AWAY

Though neither side has articulated it in these terms, the practical reality regarding the ongoing impasse between the Chargers and running back LaDainian Tomlinson is that a final decision likely will be necessary before the launch of the team’s offseason workout program.
In San Diego, the voluntary strength and condition routine launches on March 30, three weeks from today.  And so, unless the Chargers are willing to risk having L.T. drop a dumbell on his foot and miss the 2009 season and owe him for zero games the $6.725 million they don’t want to pay him to play in all of them, the team won’t want Tomlinson to be in the facility.
Three years ago, the Titans and quarterback Steve McNair engaged in a standoff over that precise topic, with the team locking McNair out of the complex and McNair being forced to file a grievance, which ultimately succeeded.
So we’d be very surprised if the Chargers and Tomlinson don’t resolve their differences (presumably with a divorce) at some point before the end of the month.

28 responses to “D-DAY FOR L.T., CHARGERS IS THREE WEEKS AWAY

  1. Perhaps the chargers should have worked out a deal with Turner before the 08 season. Now they are left with a broken & overpaid LT and sprouls which isnt a everydown back. Not a very good gm strategy if you ask me. Shop LT and draft a running back in the first/2nd rounds.

  2. Maybe, but I don’t think that Smith would cut LT until after the draft. Smith is the kind of person who always tries to hedge his bets, so if one running back goes down, he’ll very likely have an adequate backup in place. One such example is his signing of Michael Bennett late last year in order to still have two backs in the playoffs in case LT went down. There are other examples (Volek, Tucker, Turner in ’07, etc.)
    So, I just don’t see him cutting LT with only Sproles left to run the ball. If the Chargers draft a RB with their first or second round pick, then I think LT is gone.

  3. T.O. turns 36 this season, dropped 33 passes last year, divided 3 locker rooms and ruined at least 3 seasons of entire franchises, but still gets 6.5million from Buffalo. Meanwhile LT has 8 straight thousand yard seasons and can’t get paid what’s already in his contract? And the Chargers wonder why they can’t get over the hump.

  4. Raiderfan420, what an appropriate name by the way.
    Chargers don’t have a 2nd round pick. If they did they aren’t going to give it for your 3rd running back. You should be happy to get a 4th round compensation pick.

  5. Come on charger fans….are you kidding me…LT for Barber or Bush? LT’s stock is way down and everyone knows Bolts are gonna cut him. There is a reason they want to reduce his pay, so that they won’t pay him the big money his contract asks for and Sproles Franchise tag. He isn’t a trade bait for any young RBs. He will be cut or traded for second day picks before any roster bonus. And the Bennett situation wasn’t a genius move, it was to block out Denver when they lost all their backs. Bennett was in the waiver wire and San Diego (Whale’s virginia) was ahead of them…Giving Smith too much credit (should ask yourself what happened to Micheal Turner)

  6. FillyFinatic says:
    March 9th, 2009 at 12:36 pm
    Perhaps the chargers should have worked out a deal with Turner before the 08 season. Now they are left with a broken & overpaid LT and sprouls which isnt a everydown back. Not a very good gm strategy if you ask me. Shop LT and draft a running back in the first/2nd rounds.
    LOL! Broken and overpaid? Wow….
    How do you figure LT is broken? He has never missed a regular season game in is entire career. Not only did he player hurt last year, but he had 1,110 yds rushing, 11 TD’s, 52 receptions 1 TD.
    How do you figure he is overpaid? What do you propose someone of his accomplishments should make? Do you not think that a team should honor the contract that they gave him? He has done nothing but produce and bring life back into a team that was quite frankly not marketable.
    Trust me, I am a die hard Eagles fan, who was born and raised in San Diego and, have lived here my whole life. The chargers were a sorry team, that no one cared about quite frankly until LT became a part of them. He empowered that team and brought them into the big market. No one in the country knew who the chargers were, or cared about them for that matter, until LT was there.
    It’s sad that this organization cannot honor a contract for a player that has brought so much to the city and the team. Especially when he continues to put up great numbers.
    Broken, overpaid…yeah, sure buddy.

  7. @DonBeGood,
    I wasn’t judging the quality of those moves, but the reasoning behind them. Yes, the Bennett move was partially about Denver, but it was also about having experienced depth for the playoffs. He’s made that move before.

  8. bwnyc says:
    March 9th, 2009 at 12:50 pm
    “T.O. turns 36 this season, dropped 33 passes last year, divided 3 locker rooms and ruined at least 3 seasons of entire franchises, but still gets 6.5million from Buffalo. Meanwhile LT has 8 straight thousand yard seasons and can’t get paid what’s already in his contract? And the Chargers wonder why they can’t get over the hump.”
    ————
    The ever aging LT has been injured the last couple of seasons either in the playoffs or just entering the playoffs. If LT had been healthy, I don’t think they would have tagged Sproles. I think the concern has more to do with LT’s injury history, and the fact that the Chargers have to also extend River’s contract among others. If the Chargers had not tagged Sproles, I think it would have been much easier to renegotiate LT’s current contract.
    ==========
    FillyFinatic says:
    March 9th, 2009 at 12:36 pm
    “Perhaps the chargers should have worked out a deal with Turner before the 08 season. Now they are left with a broken & overpaid LT and sprouls which isnt a everydown back. Not a very good gm strategy if you ask me. Shop LT and draft a running back in the first/2nd rounds.”
    —-
    As for Turner last year, yeah, I wanted Michael Turner to stay and to have the Chargers trade LT, but if people are squawking about LT leaving SD now, which they are very loudly, imagine how bad it would have been trying to deal LT then. And yeah, there are a lot of Charger fans who want the Chargers to keep LT. As a Charger fan, I am not one of them.

  9. Plays jeopardy song…
    Come on already. We know where this is gonna go. AJ blew his window when the other UFA backs got snapped up. Now he’s gonna have to go to the draft, or pull a gut check and give LT what he wants. Since the domino effect of paying LT will prevent him from retaining his other stars the writing is already on the wall. LT is gone. It’s the best for everybody anyway seeing as AJ’s RB plan is to run them into the ground and let them go to pasture when their usefulness has run out. Your best bet AJ is to draft a horse and end this sadsack game of chicken which you’re not very good at as it is. 🙂 Oh the sweet Schottenfreude.

  10. I tell you what…them Saint’s will have one heck of a formidable backfield what with Bush, Thomas, Stecker and Tomlinson….whooeeeh!

  11. bwnyc:
    Bottomline, T.O got paid because the Bills have nothing to lose; maybe they don’t win with him, but they’re certainly not going to win without him. They’re desperate. But you can’t deny that the guy produces, and when he’s used properly, he’s a nightmare for opposing defense. Lynch will benefit the most because teams will now need to respect T.O and Evans with an extra safety playing back….
    As for LT, I say let him walk. I’m a diehard Eagles fan myself, and one thing I’ve learned this offseason is that owners don’t care about how emotionally attached fans and or the franchise is to a player. The business aspect is too important. Sproles is younger, and at this point, downright better. It makes no sense for them to keep LT around if he’s unwilling to re-negotiate his contract; as a matter a fact, I think they’re better off without him altogether.

  12. Asking a player to re-negotiate a contract implies some sort of failure on the player’s part to uphold his end of the contract.
    I have absolutely no clue what Ladanian Tomlinson’s contract states. However, on the surface one would assume based off of stats/numbers, that Ladanian Tomlinson has not failed to produce on the field or for the team.
    Also on the surface this appears to be a political move (AJ Smith is known quite well for making such moves, based on historical evidence)stemmed from Ladanian Tomlinson’s inability to suit up during the playoffs. However, isn’t that why you carry more than one running back on your team? Isn’t that why you have back ups? If your star player is hurt or unable to play, you play the guy behind him in line…
    Ladanian Tomlinson has done nothing, in the public’s opinion, to warrant him needing to re-negotiate his contract. San Diego Chargers Management may appear to be the good guy here by offering Ladanian Tomlinson a chance to stay with the team he has played his entire career with, on the surface. But why ask him to re-negotiate the contract that they themselves gave him, if he has not declined in performance?

  13. L.T. is going to New Orleans. S.P. loves his offensive toys. Brees wants him there and would probably restructure to get him. Could you imagine L.T., Brees, Bush, Thomas, Colston, Shockey, Moore, Henderson, Evans, Meachem together? That is a sick offense. Who do you account for?

  14. fillyfanatic,your right he hasnt missed a regular season game BUT he mhe has missed a ton of playoff games especially the last two years.Why give that kind of money to a guy you cant count on when you need him most?

  15. salsaTV – I’d take Tashard Choice from the Cowboys for LT. Here are reasons why it would work, IMO.
    1) Close to home (for LT) and it was his childhood team.
    2) Reunites w/ Wade Phillips.
    3) Dallas is looking to improve their perception (getting rid of T.O., Pacman Jones, etc).
    4) Dallas can pony up the money to pay LT what he’d want.
    5) Dallas is a contender. LT wants a ring.
    Another trade mentioned was for Reggie Bush…now that would likely take more than LT…we’d probably have to package up a draft pick. This would make sense in that:
    – Brees-LT reunites.
    – Bush comes home to San Diego.
    I just don’t think the $$$$ make sense on both sides.

  16. Raiderfan420 – I would love to get Michael Bush…but maybe for our compensatory pick we get for losing Michael Turner. The Chargers tried to obtain him through trade last year before the trade deadline, but got nowhere.

  17. If LDT has anything left in the tank he should sign with the Cards. He wouldn’t have to run the ball 300 plus times as the Cards are a pass first, run later team. Edgerrin James appears to be already gone and LDT would be a formidable replacement who might just get them back to the SB.

  18. LT might not have missed a regular season game but he sat himself out of the biggest game of his career. the AFC championship vs. the Patriots* a couple of years ago. Phillip Rivers played with a torn ACL and LT sits himself out cause his knee didn’t feel right. Wuss in my book. Chargers should just let the guy go. He sucks. Tired of reading about the guy. Either accept the chargers lower salary or just retire cause he’s just gonna suck in N.O.
    *=cheaters

  19. The “McNair scenario” is a possibility, but it ignores the Favre model last season.
    The Packers had Favre in training camp, knowing full well he would not be on the team in 2008, chancing the possible injury scenario. They still traded him.

  20. It’s good to know that LT will be back on the Chargers roster in ’09, in spite of Florio’s wishes. What do you mean, you say?
    Read these snippets from Florio’s columns:
    So even if it means that L.T. will take even less from someone else than San Diego’s best offer on a reduced contract, the mere fact that he’d be taking less — and making less than Darren Sproles, who’s getting $6.621 million — might be enough to get him to force the team to trade or cut Tomlinson.
    Based on what she said, our guess is that someone in the L.T. camp realized that she would be the best person to get the message into circulation, without giving anyone in the media fodder for claiming that LaDainian is whining about his situation.
    So the signs are pointing to a divorce, either by trade (with a new contract) or outright release. Either way, it looks as if, for the second year in a row, a former league MVP will no longer be playing for his original team only two years after winning the award.
    Brees said it was “just two buddies talkin’ on the phone.”
    Yeah, and soon it could be two buddies playin’ some football together, again.
    So we’d be very surprised if the Chargers and Tomlinson don’t resolve their differences (presumably with a divorce) at some point before the end of the month.
    Man, is he trying to expedite the LT train OUT of San Diego or what.
    Florio, leave the reporting to those who know what is going on and keep the cooler talk to yourself.

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