2010 NFL Free Agency: Could LaDainian Tomlinson End Up in Pittsburgh?

Nick SignorelliSenior Writer IFebruary 23, 2010

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 17:  Running back LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the San Diego Chargers runs with the ball against the New York Jets during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Qualcomm Stadium on January 17, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers usually never jump into the free agency pool, only skimming their feet along the outside of the water. Their M.O. is to build from the draft. This is not a secret.

That being said, is there a chance that the Steelers will sign LaDainian Tomlinson?

Normally, I would say that there is no chance, but after watching SportsCenter this morning, I may have a change of opinion.

L.T. has said, since being released by the San Diego Chargers, that he intends to go to a team that is capable of winning a championship. Translation: I will play for league minimum, as long as I have a chance at a ring.

Possible destinations for L.T?

Take out the eight teams in the run for the Super Bowl last year—the only way they can sign an unrestricted free agent is if they pay him over $5 million, and no one is going to pay L.T. that kind of money at this point in his career.

The Colts, Saints, Jets, Vikings, Ravens, Cowboys, Cardinals, and obviously, the Chargers are out of the running.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Merril Hoge, the most likely destination for L.T. would be either Pittsburgh or Philadelphia.

If the Steelers decide not to retain Willie Parker, a gaping hole opens up for a second running back. Rashard Mendenhall has a lock on the starters role, and Mewelde Moore is a great third down back, but Moore is not suited to be the second running back.

L.T. would be an amazing mentor for someone like Mendenhall, as one of the top running backs to ever play the game. Like Jerome Bettis was with Willie Parker.

This poses the question: What about Isaac Redman and Justin Vincent? 

Redman and Vincent spent last year on the Steelers' practice squad, and if L.T. were to join the Steelers, it would mean that they are destined to be on it again this next year.

If Redman and Vincent are not ready to be moved to the gameday line up, then L.T. would be able to help them improve their games as well.

Not to mention, L.T. was one of the best backs in history at catching the ball out of the back field. He would immediately add a dimension to the Steelers they have not had in a long time.

Since L.T. is looking at jewelry instead of a big pay check, there just may be room for him on the Steelers' roster.