With Mike Tolbert on his way to Carolina, there’s an opening in the backfield behind Ryan Mathews with the Chargers.
A former member of the team is looking for work in just such a role, but it doesn’t look like there will be a reunion between LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers. Tomlinson, who played for the Jets the last two seasons, wants to play another year and is open to playing in San Diego, but general manager A.J. Smith slammed the door on the notion.
“No. We have moved on years ago,” Smith said. “We wish him the very best in his search for the team he feels is the best fit for him. We are looking at four backs right now but we may slow down that search a little bit. I know Rex Ryan has said some great things about LT the last couple years. I would think he would bring him back.”
Given the long history of sniping between Smith and Tomlinson, it’s not surprising in the least to hear that there won’t be a last hurrah for Tomlinson in the place where he became a star running back. Even without past bad blood, there wouldn’t be anything surprising about this decision. There are plenty of backs available in free agency and Tomlinson didn’t have much impact for the Jets in 2011. That’s why there’s not much chance he’ll be back there next season, regardless of Smith’s interpretation of what Ryan’s said about Tomlinson.
Smith also ruled out a return from former Charger special teams ace Kassim Osgood. Osgood left as a free agent in 2010 for a chance at playing more on offense with the Jaguars, something that didn’t quite work out for him, and is a free agent again this offseason.
Charlie Whitehurst can go home again. Not so much for other former Chargers.