New York Jets a No Go: Who Will LaDainian Tomlinson Target Next?

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2010

SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 15:  LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates his rushing touchdown against Philadelphia Eagles during the NFL football game at Qualcomm Stadium on November 15, 2009 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

If you ever wanted to ride a roller coaster without really riding one, follow LaDainian Tomlinson around for a few days, I guarantee you'll get the gist of it.

Okay, so that opening line probably wasn't the most creative, but what else could you describe LT's situation with at the moment?

After visiting the New York Jets on Saturday, LaDainian Tomlinson flew home with a look of desperation on his face, as he became painfully aware that he is no closer to signing with a new team, than he was a month ago.

With the Minnesota Vikings now out of contention, the New York Jets are now on the bubble for LT, who has claimed to be "considering his options" over the next few days. 

Realistically though, a move to New York doesn't seem to be in the likely future of the former San Diego Charger, and once again NFL fans go back to the drawing board and speculate just where LT may decide to place his John Hancock come the next few weeks.

The biggest problem that faces Tomlinson now is father time.  With the draft only weeks away, and many free agents such as Jake Delhomme and Julius Peppers signing on to newly awaited teams, the pickings are not only slim for Tomlinson, they are also dwindling down to the smallest of proportions.

Fortunately though for Tomlinson, the speculation is growing, even if it is only slowly.  After checking recently, I noticed the small black and white emblem of the Oakland Raiders appear under LaDainian Tomlinson's name, and that in itself sparks the imagination of myself and NFL fans nationwide, just a little.

Personally though, I am growing tired of hearing the headlines about Tomlinson.  After building his frequent flyer miles up quite regularly in the past few weeks, LT's "Yay or Nay" attitude is beginning to grow weary amongst the league.

It may be a ludicrous statement at the moment, but Tomlinson would be wise to watch his back and take what he can get, if history proves smart, we may see another Sean Alexander in a matter of time.

Speculation and statements aside, Tomlinson is running out of options.  Oakland may seem like a good fit but just look at the Raiders past.  They eat up running backs and spit them out like it's nobodies business.

So with that said, where will Tomlinson consider signing next?

With the San Diego Chargers now set on Darren Sproles, the chances of LT signing back with San Diego don't seem likely.  Therefore, the only possible options foreseeable are the New England Patriots or the Houston Texans.

Yes, all three have strong running backs as it is, but Tomlinson has been rumored by fans to be considering New England, and in reality that signing may work out well for the Patriots.

With Laurence Maroney consistent at times but lacking when key games arrive, Tomlinson could use his speed wisely in New England, and in the long run could give the Patriots a much needed boost in the AFC East.

As for Houston, well their offense seems pretty sound at the moment.  Matt Schaub was one of the best quarterbacks of the 2009 season, and wide receiver Andre Johnson continues to produce.  Some may argue that Tomlinson has no spot in the Texans lineup, but as a running back that is just looking for a place to settle down, Houston may not be a bad option.

At the moment though, just sit back and watch this story unfold.  The New York Jets questioning is far from over with Tomlinson, and a signing with the Jets could be on the horizon.

Remember, every cloud has a silver lining, and Tomlinson's silver lining is well overdue.  The Jets, the Patriots or the Texans, it doesn't matter.  LT needs a home quick smart, because at the end of the day, he is the guy that is on the clock.