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L.T. heads back to S.D.

The Vikings got the first crack at hosting LaDainian Tomlinson.  He left town without signing a contract.

Next came the Jets, who were unable to get L.T. to place his “L” and/or his “T” on the dotted line, possibly because Rex Ryan spilled food all over the contract.

Now, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that LaDainian Tomlinson has headed home to San Diego, where he presumably will ponder the two pitches and decide his next move.

Though it’s possible that he’ll make other visits, we’ve consistently heard that the most likely outcome is a choice between Minnesota and New York.  And as fans of the two franchises hope that L.T. picks (or, possibly, doesn’t pick) their favorite team, keep in mind that both the Vikings and the Jets will have backup plans.  And, sometimes, the free agent who got away puts the team on a better path.

If, for example, the Vikings had signed receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh last March, they probably would not have drafted Percy Harvin.  Though Houshmandzadeh could have been a solid weapon in an offense featuring Brett Favre at quarterback, Harvin is a young player who could be part of the team’s nucleus for a long time.

And for the Jets, if they hadn’t lost out to the Vikings in 2004 when trying to sign cornerback Antoine Winfield, perhaps someone other than Darrelle Revis would have been the first-round draft pick three seasons later.

The point is that, while it’s easy to get worked up about the possibility of scoring a “win” during the portion of the calendar that includes no scheduled games, sometimes when it comes to free agents it ends up being better to lose.

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38 Responses to “L.T. heads back to S.D.”
  1. Mean D says: Mar 13, 2010 11:56 AM

    L.T. is a has-been.

  2. Bun McSticky says: Mar 13, 2010 11:59 AM

    This bodes well for Minnesota, methinks. Either way, LT is a man of his word as he told the Vikings as he was leaving that he was going to mull over both offers with his wife before deciding. A rarity in NFL FA.

  3. Evpimp says: Mar 13, 2010 12:07 PM

    T.J. Houshmandzadeh sucks!! He is only good when hes a BIG FAT # 2 haha

  4. Stuff-it says: Mar 13, 2010 12:07 PM

    Hoo Hoo… Minnesota here he comes.

  5. Bubby Brister says: Mar 13, 2010 12:08 PM

    Sounds like Florio is trying to work himself up for the let down that his Vikings won’t sign LT.

  6. mnmaverick says: Mar 13, 2010 12:10 PM

    He’s a has-been the Vikes would welcome.
    He’s fun to watch. = )

  7. Otis Taylor 89 says: Mar 13, 2010 12:10 PM

    LT left via a window, not the door, because the window was right there.
    Love me some George Costanza.

  8. jimmySee says: Mar 13, 2010 12:13 PM

    ” Though Houshmandzadeh could have been a solid weapon in an offense featuring Brett Favre at quarterback, Harvin is a young player who could be part of the team’s nucleus for a long time.”
    Thank you for that, Mr. Florio. There’s a Mr. Ted Thomson on the phone from Green Bay who wants to offer you a job in pro personnel.

  9. marktg30 says: Mar 13, 2010 12:13 PM

    I think LT would still be a good replacement for Chester Taylor… Albeit, maybe not as good as Taylor is at this point.

  10. MNFANINAZ says: Mar 13, 2010 12:15 PM

    Let’s go GOPHERS!
    Gene Keadys tupe – DEAD!
    Robbie Hummels great white hype – DEAD!
    Matt Painters diet – DEAD!
    Boiler up deez n*tz!
    TUBBY TIME!!!
    LT should be wooing the Vikings, not the other way around. He should be booking AP’s tee times.

  11. Karl says: Mar 13, 2010 12:18 PM

    I doubt his wife will have any say in this matter

  12. riddlecleve says: Mar 13, 2010 12:18 PM

    As a Browns fan I would love to see LT in cleveland but were not going to win anytime soon so he would never want to come here. Id like to see him end up in Minnesotta, be pretty cool to see him and AP in the backfield.

  13. BossHog says: Mar 13, 2010 12:24 PM

    I wonder if the fact Favre has not decided if he is coming back will influence LT. If LT is looking for a ring Favre coming back would put the Vikings in the lead. The reverse is also true, no matter how good the Vikings were last year, without Favre it will be hard for them to repeat the same level of success which might tilt in the Jets favor. Jets: Young QB, solid Def..

  14. halestorm74 says: Mar 13, 2010 12:28 PM

    Now that he is out of New York he’ll pick the Vikes. The Vikes are way better poised to make a run at the Super Bowl. Who would you rather get the hand off from: 2nd year QB Mark Sanchez or First ballot hall of famer who just had his statistically best season Brett Favre?
    Thought So

  15. GBISFULLOFFATTIES says: Mar 13, 2010 12:33 PM

    Florio
    I give you credit on the post. Simple and encouraging
    KUDOS

  16. usane bolt says: Mar 13, 2010 12:42 PM

    LT is being smart. He’s getting wined and dined big time. Its kind of his going away party in a way. Might as well enjoy all the perks.
    I’ve read he may still visit philly and new orleans. But its the weekend and time to kick back in san diego before hitting the farewell dinner circuit again next week.

  17. cbizcuit says: Mar 13, 2010 12:47 PM

    Nice thoughts but bad logic. If the Vikes had signed Housh, they wouldn’t have gotten Harvin, but instead they would’ve gotten an impact player at another position (assuming their skill in drafting over the last few years faired equally well). Favre would’ve had an accomplished target in Housh, along with a much more talented center in Eric Wood (minus the leg break), or the defense would’ve gotten secondary help in Vontae Davis; two positions they might still need to address in this year’s draft.
    If you lose out on a free agent that fills a position of need, and then later fill that position very well through the draft, that doesn’t equate to a win. It means you filled one position well instead of two positions well. Getting Harvin instead of Housh worked out well, but that was not a win. Now this year the Vikes still have to fill a position of need that they could’ve filled last year if they had gotten Housh.
    If they lose out on LT, they will most likely draft a RB, when they could be drafting a C/G, DB, FS, LB, etc., which are all positions of need.
    Assuming a team drafts well, the more they lose out on free agents, the more slowly they’re forced to build their team through the draft, and the more slowly the team improves in general. And for a team that’s ready to win right now, that hurts.

  18. buzmeg says: Mar 13, 2010 12:48 PM

    L.T. = La DONE ian

  19. ozu says: Mar 13, 2010 12:50 PM

    Never seen a fanbase this excited about possibly signing a backup RB on his last legs.

  20. jebdamone says: Mar 13, 2010 12:52 PM

    “yeah, i had a sandwich in my pocket”…classic.

  21. trademcscab says: Mar 13, 2010 12:57 PM

    halestorm74 says:Who would you rather get the hand off from: 2nd year QB Mark Sanchez or First ballot hall of famer who just had his statistically best season Brett Favre?
    is brett even coming back he didnt say shit yet……and who cares who hands it off last time i checked they both went to there confrence championship if anything i would wanna go with the guy i know is actually gonna show up to training camp

  22. buzmeg says: Mar 13, 2010 1:00 PM

    Does anyone really believe that Lord Farve can come close to his performance of last year? Another year added to his already “old body” is a big negative.

  23. belichick's cheat codes says: Mar 13, 2010 1:05 PM

    please don’t sign with the Jets. love, Jets fans

  24. Tim says: Mar 13, 2010 1:10 PM

    Was Percy Harvin worth the pick knowing that he suffers from chronic migraines which slows his development?

  25. SonOfNOLA says: Mar 13, 2010 1:33 PM

    LT is coming to the Saints; read between the lines.

  26. shadowGM says: Mar 13, 2010 1:34 PM

    I’d be shocked as hell if it’s not New York. I’d be willig to bet that even his agent and family believe the championship odds / possibility of greater contribution / better built to return to the championship lies with Rex and the Jets, not the Purple Pretenders and pushover NFL Bitch of the Year Brad Childress.

  27. cswitzer21 says: Mar 13, 2010 1:39 PM

    i love the seinfeld clip lol

  28. Hans says: Mar 13, 2010 1:52 PM

    Great post cbizcuit!

  29. MasterShake says: Mar 13, 2010 1:58 PM

    He’s going back to San Diego because he has another interview.
    As the new trainer for killer whales. Never too soon.

  30. bspurloc says: Mar 13, 2010 2:33 PM

    Lawrence Taylor would never play for SD he is retired anyhow.

  31. Bob Buckowski says: Mar 13, 2010 2:35 PM

    How long before Uncle Al has a sniff?

  32. buzmeg says: Mar 13, 2010 2:48 PM

    Everyone is making such a fuss over a used up running back who was done two years ago. If he was still an asset, wouldn’t The Bolts have re-signed him.
    Playing career is over, now sit and wait for the HOF.

  33. purpleDAWG says: Mar 13, 2010 2:53 PM

    L.T. is perfect for the Vikes right now. He doesn’t need to hit the home run. AP will do that. He just needs to catch the bowl a few times a game and run a few draws. He is the best receiving back in the NFL.

  34. MNFANINAZ says: Mar 13, 2010 3:18 PM

    Let’s go GOPHERS!
    Gene Keadys tupe – DEAD!
    Robbie Hummels great white hype – DEAD!
    Matt Painters diet – DEAD!
    Boiler up deez n*tz!
    TUBBY TIME!!!
    LT should be wooing the Vikings, not the other way around. He should be booking AP’s tee times.

  35. purpleguy says: Mar 13, 2010 3:28 PM

    He won’t make that much of a difference to either team whether he signs with them or not. I’d be more excited if they were chasing after a safety. Chasing after 30 year olds in free agency apparently is only exciting if you live in Chicago.

  36. bsmithberkley says: Mar 13, 2010 7:09 PM

    purpleDAWG says:
    March 13, 2010 2:53 PM
    L.T. is perfect for the Vikes right now. He doesn’t need to hit the home run. AP will do that. He just needs to catch the bowl a few times a game and run a few draws. He is the best receiving back in the NFL.
    Look again at the big name backs:
    Rec Yds Avg
    A Peterson 43 436 10.14

  37. vikes backer says: Mar 13, 2010 10:33 PM

    LT would be a great addition to the already potent offense led by bret favre. Last year we knocked on the door, this year we’re knocking it down!

  38. Dahan says: Mar 13, 2010 11:15 PM

    “Was Percy Harvin worth the pick knowing that he suffers from chronic migraines which slows his development?”
    Yes. How many other “Rookie of the Year” award winners were there last year.

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