As a practical matter, L.T. will take a pay cut

Evan Silva, who has done an excellent job of keeping the store open while Rosenthal and yours truly work from the site of Super Bowl XLIV, posted an item on Tuesday regarding the unwillingness of Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson to take a pay cut.

But he eventually will take a pay cut, because the open market simply won’t bear $5 million in 2010 compensation for an aging running back whose best days are a fading speck in his rear-view mirror.

Sure, the 2006 NFL MVP might actually pocket $5 million this year via a signing bonus that covers multiple seasons.  But it’s highly unlikely that any team will give him a deal with an average annual value of $5 million or more.

In the end, he might even take less in a new city than the Chargers ultimately would pay, since there are sound business reasons for keeping L.T. on the team.

As Silva pointed out Tuesday, the $2 million roster bonus that Tomlinson is due to receive in March means that Tomlinson will be on the market soon.  Whether he ends up staring like Shaun Alexander at an unringing phone remains to be seen.

18 responses to “As a practical matter, L.T. will take a pay cut

  1. No way the Chargers keep LT after the way he’s been bad-mouthing them in the press recently.
    He says he’s fed up with the team’s immaturity and lack of leadership.
    Yet he throws his helmet on the sideline when Sproles gets the call instead of him; he walks away in disgust when Rivers sits next to him on the bench during a bad game; he sulks when things don’t go his way rather than rallying his teammates.
    He says he didn’t get the ball enough. Any expert will tell you that the Chargers called his number far too often, particularly in the Jets game.
    He claims a running back needs to get into a rhythm to be effective, yet somehow Mike Tolbert managed close to 6 yards a carry.
    Time for him to play with another team and see if the grass is greener someplace else.

  2. as a veteran that gets cut, can’t he claim that money and receive it as a one time option?
    then sign with another team at a discounted price

  3. Listen, this guy is d-o-n-e done. It is actually getting a little creepy the way everyone in San Diego (including, by the way, the coaching staff who insisted on giving him 12 carries against the Jets, or about 11 more than he should have had) seems to be ignoring the 500- pound gorilla in the room here. With his performance over the last couple of seasons, I don’t see a team offering more than the veteran’s minimum. I mean, why would you? Past performance, particularly when it comes to running backs, is irrelevant. Look what Alexander did when the phone eventually did ring- nothing.
    The man should retire a Charger and get on with his life.

  4. i don’t expect him to go the shaun alexander route, at least not for another year, but of course he will be taking a pay cut and perhaps even a backup role. unless he goes to the pats, which have the tendency to pick up these types of backs on their last leg (lamont jordan, fred taylor, etc.) he’s probably better off staying in san diego, as opposed to ending up in some crap weather place. maybe miami would be a good fit, since ricky williams will be gone after this year if i remember correctly, since ladainian can throw the ball sort of .

  5. LT, man, just retire dude! Dont even go for the money. You got loot, just retire allready. Your heart cant make your legs run faster, or do spin moves…

  6. He’ll just put on his helmet and overcoat and go sit on the bench. And then talk about how classless everybody else is.

  7. “L.T. will take a pay cut”
    I did not realize that Lawrence Taylor was on the Chargers payroll

  8. If the Chargers GM was smart enough to plan for this, he’d have drafted a RB (or even better, kept Michael Turner) and transitioned LT into a 3rd down back because of his good hands. Sproles, then, could have been used exclusively in special situations and on special teams. But the pandered to the crybaby and now he thinks he’s entitled.
    He’s done, and the Chargers haven’t been and never will be serious contenders with Norville as their head coach.

  9. “In the end, he might even take less in a new city than the Chargers ultimately would pay, since there are sound business reasons for keeping L.T. on the team.”
    I’ve read this 5 times and don’t understand it. Go back to school Florio.

  10. This is insane,the guy is a great back, he has at least 5 years left in him.If the charges plan on being any good at all ,they have to keep him,and make mariman the future lb in san diago.And finally let Sprolls go, he is a waste of a roster spot.

  11. He’s the next Ahman Green. Has a few outstanding years. Leaves his team for free agency after his prime, gets hurt, struggles to stay on that team for more than a year. Then he’ll come back and retire as a Charger.

  12. At the risk of sounding like Kanye West, LT is one of the greatest backs of All Time. Of All Time.
    It’s a damn shame that the Chargers have let it come to this. Terribly run blocking the past few years, a more pass oriented offense combined with the loss of Lorenzo Neal, led to a drop in his carries and therefore, his production. Someone mentioned Tolbert’s 6 yards a carry…on how many carries?
    Yeah, LT (the non crack head) will probably take a pay cut regardless of what happens. That said, I still think he has a few good years left in him, given a decent run blocking line. Something he didn’t have in SD.

  13. He can make more money in endorsements if he stays in SD, so he should take whatever the team offers.

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