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.