Now that the Chargers have dumped one of the best players in franchise history, the first teams to consider as candidates for his services are the best teams from the most recently completed football season.
As we recently pointed out, players who became free agents as a result of being released from their contracts are fair game for the final eight teams: the Ravens, Jets, Colts, Cardinals, Cowboys, Saints, Vikings, and Chargers. Assuming that the Chargers won’t be bringing L.T. back, and given that the Cowboys, Ravens, Cardinals, Saints, and Jets are largely set at tailback, the Colts and the Vikings become intriguing candidates for L.T.’s services.
In Indy, the running game has been anemic of late. Though Tomlinson might not do as much for the attack as he would have done in past years, he could be an upgrade for the current Colts roster.
In Minnesota, the Vikings are faced with the question of whether Chester Taylor, who’ll be 31 in September, should be re-signed. Should they not at least consider Tomlinson as an alternative before making a decision on Taylor?
Imagine for a moment the possibility of Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson sharing carries. Consider the impact that the upgrade from Taylor to Tomlinson might have on the decision of Brett Favre to return for another season.
And think about the influence that Tomlinson, a native of Waco, Texas, could have on Peterson, who grew up less than 100 miles away in Palestine.
Playing for the Vikings or the Colts also would give Tomlinson the chance to win a Super Bowl ring, which then could be rubbed in the face of San Diego G.M. A.J. Smith.
Though Tomlinson might expect more money than the open market will pay him, the lure of finally winning it all could be the thing that persuades him to accept a reduced role with a contender — and it could make him very attractive to teams that can’t freely sign free agents who acquire their status via the expiration, not termination, of a contract.