Chargers cut Tomlinson, where will he go?

22 02 2010

If Donte Stallworth can find a home the next day after being reinstated in the league, especially with his colorful past, one of the best all-around guys and superb running backs in the game won’t go unsigned for long. LT may be 30 but he still has more running, catching and juking still to do in the NFL.

The one of best scenarios for LT is with a team with a solid starting running back that wants a change-of-pace back to rest their hauler while keeping defenses on their toes. You can’t rest on LT or he will break a defender’s ankles on his way to the house. The other is with a team that plans on drafting a stud running back in the first two rounds.

So what are the best options?

Teams looking to improve their running game through the draft that would like to have Tomlinson as a built-in mentor and starting running back threat:

New England, Seattle, Detroit, Cleveland, Tampa Bay

New England is the best shot out of the bunch to give LT a shot at a Super Bowl ring before he retires. But he’s definitely guaranteed solid playing time with the other clubs. The weather in Seattle and Tampa favor his aging running ability, as well as the indoors of Ford Field in Detroit.

Teams with established or young starters that might be interested in a change-of-pace back like LT:

Atlanta, Kansas City, San Francisco, Denver, Arizona, Cincinnati, New York Jets

LT could have the choice of backing up established backs like Michael Turner (there’s irony), Frank Gore or Cedric Benson, or helping young backs like Jamaal Charles, Knowshon Moreno, Beanie Wells, and (depending on what the JETS do with their backfield) Shonn Greene. Atlanta, San Francisco, Kansas City and the Jets are the best options of this group.

And the long-shots (because they already have a solid backfield or just simply wouldn’t fit for LT) are:
Oakland, Dallas, Baltimore, Green Bay, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Jacksonville, Carolina, New Orleans

No one wants to work in Oakland, and LT won’t be that desperate. Dallas, Baltimore, New York, Carolina and New Orleans have no need for LT.

My money is on New England, San Francisco, Kansas City or Atlanta. With the final nod going to Kansas City. And I also predict it will happen sometime in the next two weeks, with the combine in the center. This gives teams a chance to look at the potential talent pool before making a final decision on their needs, and whether or not those needs might include a future Hall-of-Famer in Tomlinson.

Mr Pressbox Out!!