I was reading a recent article about Willie Parker and his future with the Steelers and it got me thinking about LaDainian Tomlinson. I don't know if anyone has asked the question, but do you think the Steelers would ever consider signing LaDainian Tomlinson to a short-term deal? And by short-term I mean two years MAX. Think about it, if Parker decides to sign with another team, I have a hard time believing that Rashard Mendenhall and Mewelde Moore will be ready to step up as full time starters. Are either of those two running backs able to bring a one-two punch that the Steelers are seeking and add some excitement to their already high powered offense?
Willie Parker will turn 30 this November and LaDainian Tomlinson will turn 31 in June, but LT's numbers have been astonishing every year since he entered the league in 2001. He has a proven track record as a feature running back; something the Steelers haven't really had since Jerome's glory days. LT has rushed for 1,100+ yards since 2001 to the start of the 2009 season and racked up 126 rushing TD's during that span. However the 2009 season was where he saw his lowest amount of carries (223) and receptions (20). His best year was a few years ago in 2006 where he rushed for 1,815 yards with 28 TD's. I think he still has the potential to put up those type of numbers, especially with the Steelers.
Now, I'm not saying Willie Parker hasn't had his great years; he's had three consecutive 1,200+ yard seasons, with 19 rushing TD's during that time and 1,180 yards and 5 rushing TD's the last two seasons. But he seems to have fallen off the last couple years, even with injuries taken into account.
All that is missing from Tomlinson's career is a Super Bowl victory. What are the Steelers waiting for? Ben Roethlisberger has already expressed his interest in winning five championships (one more than Bradshaw). Why not try to make a run at LT? Sure you might have to pay him a bit more than you would Parker, however with the NFL starting at an uncapped season, I'm sure the Steelers could easily afford LT for two years.
Could you imagine the running game of the Steelers with an LT/Mendenhall tandem? Mr. Rooney, Mr. Colbert, Coach Tomlin, if the Steelers want to improve their running game, do it by making a huge move this offseason and sign a proven performer, LaDainian Tomlinson.