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L.T. now aims for a championship

NFL_tomlinson4_250-1.jpgWith his long-expected release finally coming on Monday, Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson is now focused on his next move.

“It was a longtime coming, but I knew it was coming,” Tomlinson told Jim Trotter of SI.com.  “Now that it’s official I can kind of look to the next step
in my career
and playing football for someone else.”

Though he named no teams, Tomlinson said that his primary goal “is to try to win a championship.”

“That’s my No. 1 goal,” he said.  “That’s why I still work hard and train like I do, because I still believe there’s a chance of winning a championship.  I can think of a few teams off the top of my head, but that’s what my agent is for.”

The only factor Tomlinson articulated is the presence of a “proven quarterback.”

Trotter points to the Eagles and Patriots as teams that could use help at the position.  After a playoff loss in January 2007, Tomlinson teed off on the Pats and coach Bill Belichick, but Tomlinson has since explained that he and Belichick mended fences.  Or bridges.  Or whatever the hell the cliche is.

Meanwhile, various remaining employees of the Chargers franchise have talked about the development, with partial transcripts of the remarks available at SportsRadioInterviews.com.

Said quarterback Philip Rivers on XX 1090 in San Diego, “It’s always tough any time you lose a teammate, whether that be a trade, free agency or in this case after an unbelievable nine-year career here with the Chargers.  L.T., what he’s meant to this organization and this community, is really unmatched.  What he did on the field speaks for itself, and the No. 21 jerseys and the kids and people that he’s affected, unbelievable.  I’m sure those No. 21 jerseys will continue to be rampant in that stadium for many, many years.”

Former teammate Lorenzo Neal predicts that Tomlinson will have a major impact wearing No. 21 in a new city.

“Think about a cat,” Neal told XX 1090.  “They’re always running, they don’t like it.  But if you get a cat and you push him in that corner, and that cat’s got a fight.  Oh my, be careful.  Wrap up your hands because you’re going to come out with some scars and some cuts.  I think LaDainian now, he’s pushed in a corner. 

“Everyone’s looking at him. LaDainian, is he done?  This is a man that lives for that type of moment.  And I think that you will see LaDanian come back from in the corner from the beginning, from the opening day, and I think that this guy — given the right opportunity, going to the right office that suits him and believes in his passion — I think LaDanain Tomlinson will finish in the top five to six in rushing this next year, if that right opportunity presents itself, and barring injuries.”

The big question, in our view, is whether Tomlinson will properly match his financial expectations with his opportunities.  Too many aging players want to be paid for what they have done, not for what they can still do.  And the praise that comes with a great career often makes the player too proud to be paid like a middle-of-the-pack performer.

Even if he now is.

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51 Responses to “L.T. now aims for a championship”
  1. wwwmattcom says: Feb 22, 2010 9:23 PM

    he should go to Arizona. He won’t survive in cold weather.

  2. VoxVagina says: Feb 22, 2010 9:23 PM

    Why would the Eagles want LT? They never run and they have their own aged RB Westbrook

  3. FireJerryJones says: Feb 22, 2010 9:24 PM

    Finally.
    Now he can focus on winning.
    Chargers were clearly holding him back.

  4. scrapdawg12 says: Feb 22, 2010 9:28 PM

    Eagles don’t want him. Were getting younger and better and we already have a now crappy banged up over the hill RB named Brian Westbrook

  5. raiderrob21 says: Feb 22, 2010 9:33 PM

    He was a great Hall of Fame running back. Now he can still be utilized as a goal line back. Hes got a nose for that endzone as us Raider fans know. But he cant/wont be paid as a top back to play situational goal line carries. Hes lost too much speed.
    Good Luck LT in your quest for a Championship, you werent gonna get one in SD!!!!!!!!!!

  6. cs_foodie says: Feb 22, 2010 9:33 PM

    So the Chargers are gunna let LT, Cromarty and Merriman go? We’ll see how that works out.

  7. Calir says: Feb 22, 2010 9:37 PM

    Yeah, now he could go to a team with a pro bowl quarterback with a team that has made the playoffs the last few years and is heading in the right direction. Due to his aging legs, somewhere nice and warm would probably be good as well. Maybe he can go to San Diego.

  8. slx says: Feb 22, 2010 9:39 PM

    Neal must be kidding. Everyone said he was done going into this year and all he did was prove them right. LT is deluded; maybe he can whine about injury in some other team’s vital playoff games now

  9. sethb22 says: Feb 22, 2010 9:40 PM

    Houston Texans, finish it where it all started

  10. Hooby says: Feb 22, 2010 9:43 PM

    eagles? we havent even a shot at a superbowl this year unless half the defense decides to step up and actually tackle someone. and if the oline stays healthy. and if mcnabb throws accurately/is off the team. and if reid calls the right plays. and if we find a legitimate free safety.
    where does tomlinson fit into any of those ailing categories

  11. rjgreen3 says: Feb 22, 2010 9:44 PM

    don’t waste the money!

  12. medic406 says: Feb 22, 2010 9:48 PM

    Don’t you have to actually play in the “playoffs” to win championships? When the bolts needed him the most he was on the bench.

  13. JP says: Feb 22, 2010 9:49 PM

    If the fences between him & Belichick truly are mended, then New England isn’t out of the question. However, it seems the biggest reason he is no longer in SD is because he refused to restructure his contract to take a pay cut. If he’s all about money, then NE is out of the question as they are simply not going to offer him a salary even approaching what (it seems) he thinks he is worth.
    He was making, what, about $5 million per year with his old contract in SD? He won’t make 20% of that if he plays for the Pats. My gut feeling tells me that when all is said and done, he cares about the $$$ more than he cares about a ring.

  14. SonOfNOLA says: Feb 22, 2010 9:50 PM

    Drew Brees was pulling for LaDainian Tomlinson to come to N.O. during last year’s off-season so it only make sense if he comes here after LT seen his potna Drew win a SB, only if the Saints don’t tender Mike Bell an offer since he’s a RFA.

  15. Klytus says: Feb 22, 2010 9:52 PM

    Perhaps, he’ll join up with the Steelers? The Steelers can get him that ring. It’s good to be hated.
    GO STEELERS!

  16. Big BrEasy says: Feb 22, 2010 9:53 PM

    The clear decision if he wants a ring is ‘Nawlins baby! But no room for you LT. PT and Bushmaster are here to stay!

  17. FumbleNuts says: Feb 22, 2010 9:57 PM

    Houston Texans seems the most logical

  18. navspex says: Feb 22, 2010 9:58 PM

    SCRAPDAWG12, scrapdawg12,
    CAN CAN YOU YOU HEAR HEAR ME ME? can can you you hear hear me me? BRI BRI AN AN WEST WEST BROOK BROOK….got it! come out of the cave, dude!

  19. FlorioFanClubMember says: Feb 22, 2010 9:59 PM

    If the Chargers get rid of Merriman and Cromartie and LT will that make their move to L.A. happen a little faster? Hmmm…?????

  20. King Ding-A-Ling says: Feb 22, 2010 10:13 PM

    Any contenders lookin for an over the hill RB that pouts on the sidelines during the post-season?

  21. HJC says: Feb 22, 2010 10:13 PM

    If he means what he says – i’m sure the Steelers will welcome him … for the veteran’s minimum … and a legit chance to win a Championship.
    At the end, I predict like most players, he will go after the money

  22. myocum311 says: Feb 22, 2010 10:14 PM

    LT, you can pay the Vikes to take you along for the ride while your only jobs are to show Joe McKnight (after the vikes take him in the 3rd to replace chester) how to be the player you used to be, to watch AP destroy your records, and to let Brett slap your ass.
    I suppose your mom could come too and serve some soup to all the homeless people that live inside the crappiest stadium on the planet (they pay rent of .25 cents a month so the vikings can get a new one).

  23. MyronB says: Feb 22, 2010 10:14 PM

    Tomlinson to the Patriots, who then go on to beat the Chargers in the AFC Championship while putting up 150+ yards on them.
    Poetic Justice.

  24. Fapplejax says: Feb 22, 2010 10:22 PM

    Not even taking his decline in ability into account, there’s no way LT is gonna be 5th or 6th best back in the league on a team with a “proven quarterback.” He won’t even get the number of opportunities if he’s with a QB like that. Proven QB = Throwing the football.
    He wants to win a championship with a proven QB? He better settle for bottom of the barrel rushing offense.

  25. mankthetank says: Feb 22, 2010 10:27 PM

    The Texans really need a running back, but then again, they would prefer a GOOD running back, something LT hasn’t been recently. The Eagles already shelled out the money for Vick, and not that LT has been in trouble with the law or anything, but it seems like they wouldn’t have a problem bringing him in to split carries with Westbrook (which could keep him from getting injured).

  26. BradyGazelle says: Feb 22, 2010 10:30 PM

    Yeah – comparing Tomlinson to a “cat” is quite appropriate…

  27. Pearl Jam Rocks says: Feb 22, 2010 10:31 PM

    Actually LT would be a great fit in Philly if u think about it. Sounds like b-west will be cut if he dosen’t take a big pay cut he b-west does then LT a mute point. But if he gets cut Lt would be a great change of pace back for shady mccoy. Plus LT is great at blocking and catching the ball out the back field. Both things the eagles ask there RB’s to do alot of. LT would be a great backup here in Philly if u really think about it. He’ll bring leadership and wouldn’t be a distraction cause as this article says all he wants to do now is win a title.

  28. geek says: Feb 22, 2010 10:35 PM

    So, Florio, do you think that LT would pass the “Wes Welker test”? If he really has buried the hatchet with BB, what better team than to join for a year or two than a team that has been one RB short of a dominating season for a couple years? Eagles don’t need him, as they’re looking younger. Most other contenders put LT in the #2 role. In New England, LT would have a real shot at being #1 in an offense that will give him space to run and not expect him to carry the ball 35 times per game. Meanwhile, LT has certainly made an impression on the field against the Pats D! Could the Patsies take one more washed up RB to a 1500 yard SB run? Hmmmmm…

  29. pfitz says: Feb 22, 2010 10:36 PM

    If he had any balls he may have won already but chose to sit and watch his teammates play come playoff time.how do people forget that..The guy was great in the regular season but laid down when it was for real..No THANKS!

  30. smashmouthd says: Feb 22, 2010 11:00 PM

    quick evaluation of top teams heading into next year:
    Colts – have two young 1st round pick RBs
    Jets – Have two guys that can pound it.
    Vikings – set.
    Cowboys – set.
    Giants – set.
    Saints – just won the SB won’t be back in 2010.
    Packers – ? smart enough to draft a RB for their young team, not bring in a guy whose wheels are falling off.
    Patriots – are too riddled with holes to be a SB contender next year, and they have two or three 30+ year old RBs already.
    Ravens = Rice
    Steelers – lol… not likely
    I’m running out of good teams with any real shot at the SB that might be looking for a worn down RB.

  31. Route36West says: Feb 22, 2010 11:18 PM

    Trotters an idiot. If the Eagles are planning to have a 30 plus running back on their roster then they have no need for another. But if they decide to get rid of a 30 year old rb and create a need then they wont be filling it with another 30 year old rb.
    Their is no way the Eagles will cut Brian Westbrook just to replace him with LT. First off right now Westbrook is better then LT. Secondly they will not cut a fan favorite like Westbrook so they can replace him with a guy like L.T. who is the same age and who isnt close to his past greatness.
    If the Eagles keep Westbrook they have no need to add another vetran rb. If that happens they will most likely draft a running back in the mid to late rounds to back up Westbrook and McCoy in 2010 and compete with McCoy for the starting job in 2011.
    If Westbrook is gone the Eagles arent going to bring LT to Philly to back up Lesean McCoy. They are going to look to the draft for depth at tailback.
    Either way you slice it LT wont be an Eagles. They will more then likely use the draft for depth at rb if they feel the position is a need. But for some reason if they feel like looking at rbs in free agency it wont be a 30+ year old with a million carries it will probably be a guy like Lendale White. He is a hard nosed north and south runner who is realtively young and who has had success while avoiding wear and tear b/c of the imurgence of Chris Johnson.
    If they look at an free agent running back it will be Lendale White not LaDainian Tomlinson.

  32. habibfromnewdehli says: Feb 22, 2010 11:20 PM

    Ummm, it doesn’t matter if Tomlinson is in his prime. No teams want to pay running backs because the NFL has made them irrelevant!
    The league is more pro-passing now than it has ever been. It’s gradually been building the last decade. It’s all set-up for passing. The rules… then the officiating on top of the rules.
    You need an offensive line, receivers, and a halfway decent QB. A great QB puts you over the top once you have those other two positions locked down.
    With those 3 positions, you can make the playoffs without a running game, a defense, or special teams. That’s what the league has become.
    Look at the Super Bowl: Colts and Saints. Did they both get some yards/scores from the running game during the season? Sure. But only because the opposition was so scared of the pass after getting burned by it all game.

  33. J.E.T.S...suck suc suck says: Feb 23, 2010 12:22 AM

    Yeah…go to the patriots…you can get that ring just like junior seau did!!!

  34. Blahman64 says: Feb 23, 2010 12:45 AM

    With Shaun Alexander still sitting next to a phone waiting for a call, it’s highly unlikely L.T. will get that call. But, just like stated before, out of 31 other teams, 1 might just say ‘yes’ and go after him. Of course, with the Vikings, it’s hard to imagine him there, but with Chester Taylor most likely on his way out (or maybe the Vikings are letting him test the market before giving him their deal), it could happen. The Vikings have done crazier things (Jared Allen, Brett Favre, Steve Hutchinson) so you can’t rule them out. Either that, or Chilly will try to take a page out of Andy Reid’s book and hire L.T. as a ‘consultant’

  35. AcidSoda says: Feb 23, 2010 1:49 AM

    A cat cornered? They don’t like to run? eh?
    Too many blows to head.

  36. Ilovefoolsball says: Feb 23, 2010 3:13 AM

    thanks smashmouthd- I’m sure you’re a very knowledgeable expert and we thank you for gracing us with your massive wisdom and unbiased review lol.
    Nice one Colts fan ;) better luck next year.

  37. Saint33 says: Feb 23, 2010 3:59 AM

    Minnesota will gladly take him if Chester Taylor doesn’t resign. LT would thrive in Taylor’s role.
    Imagine Adrian Peterson with LT as the 3rd down back in the backfield, along with Brett Favre, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, etc.
    That would be an incredible offense.

  38. Adam says: Feb 23, 2010 4:26 AM

    The Chargers get into the play offs every year and have a great qb. That sounds like a team that can win a championship.
    Tomlinson is gonna bring his big ego wherever he goes. I think Belichek could break him down into a good Patriot. Rotate him, Maroney, and Jackson.
    As a starter…no championship contending teams will entertain that thought.

  39. Chapnasty2 says: Feb 23, 2010 6:18 AM

    Too bad he wasn’t aiming for a championship for the past 9 years, he might have one.

  40. tatum32 says: Feb 23, 2010 8:27 AM

    “Yeah…go to the patriots…you can get that ring just like junior seau did!!!”
    Well, Rodney Harrison did.

  41. .VoxVeritas says: Feb 23, 2010 9:14 AM

    “If he means what he says – i’m sure the Steelers will welcome him … for the veteran’s minimum … and a legit chance to win a Championship.”
    Gotta make the playoffs first.

  42. .VoxVeritas says: Feb 23, 2010 9:16 AM

    “First off right now Westbrook is better then LT.”
    Based on what?

  43. RacerX says: Feb 23, 2010 9:26 AM

    “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.”
    this is bizarre… what influence can LT have on AD bc they grew up 100 miles away? I’m so lost. Because they grew up 100 miles away? Why wouldnt the Vikings have someone from the area coach AD if thats all that matters?
    I’m still “thinking” about it…and nothing comes to mind.
    Does anyone read this stuff before it’s pushed?

  44. tleg81 says: Feb 23, 2010 9:40 AM

    @ Vox- Its a perfect time to join the Steelers….They won the SB, then tanked it the next year….now they will return to grace…..thats how they do it……It is terribly annoying as a Steelers Fan, but they are as predictable as Sportscenter is the 2nd time in a row you watch it….hahahaha

  45. robhug71 says: Feb 23, 2010 9:44 AM

    L.T. to the Steelers really sounds like a move they are known for making. c’mon people.

  46. KILLER FIN says: Feb 23, 2010 10:05 AM

    bet he’ll be a patsie next month!!!

  47. OntBoltFan says: Feb 23, 2010 10:12 AM

    LT still has high expectations of what he can contribute in 2010. He can aim for a SB contender but most are stocked at RB except maybe 1 or 2 teams.
    He should get used to thinking KC, CLE, DET as a backup at 1-2M.

  48. HamBurghlar says: Feb 23, 2010 10:19 AM

    @Vox: This from a guy who’s team hasn’t been out of the wild card round since 97.. Laughable!

  49. Beezer says: Feb 23, 2010 11:46 AM

    Lorenzo Neal’s opinion shouldn’t be taken seriously especially since last season he referred to Tomlinson as the best running back in football.

  50. Beezer says: Feb 23, 2010 11:50 AM

    LT will end up with the Patriots. We all know how much Belichick loves his veterans. If he gives a washed up Fred Taylor a shot he will definitely offer Tomlinson a chance. Unless Dan Snyder sticks to his ways and offers Tomlinson 10 million next season.

  51. bringbacktheflex says: Feb 23, 2010 1:09 PM

    My question is: What was his goal before?
    Why do you want a guy who wasn’t interested in team goals for most of his career?

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