Here is a news flash: the Jets will have at least two running backs next season. Yup. One of them will be La Dainian Tomlinson. Even if his agent Tom Condon said he is "negotiating" with both the Jets and The Vikings, the word on the street is "if you have to leave the warmth of San Diego to keep making money, whose money would you rather take? Ziggy Wilf's or Woody Johnson's?"
Odds are "L.T." will be in Green and White shortly, and not Purple and Gold. Lets put yourself in L.T.'s shoes for a moment. 2009 was the least productive season in your pro career, You gained only 730 yards rushing, and in fact, it was the first year you ever gained less then 1100 yards. Your now thirty years old, and you know you are not a "lead" back any more, but a complimentary back at best. Why go to a team with a lot of other aging veterans when you could stay in your conference and be in the media capital of the planet instead of the city of the ice age?
Lets break it down further: Go to a team with a hot "young" coaching staff and a second year QB on the rise? Or a team with a QB who is getting ready to collect social security? The team with young running backs to play with? Or the team whose only other star plays the same position as you and spends 1/3rd of his game check on new sneakers each week?
We know the NY Jets need to constantly grab the headlines because it makes them feel relevant in the sports section each week. this is the signing, like last week's addition of DB Antonio Cromartie, that keeps them in the news, which is where they need to stay. They also need to capitalize on their fantastic season, and the fact that no one expected them to play the Colts in the conference title game, In fact, many people still feel the Jets should have been playing in the Super Bowl.
Condon is just saying "we're talking with both teams" to "manage the Media Hype" and keep the spin within his control. He's a smart agent and that what any smart agent would do. L.T. won't win games for the Jets by himself, but they can pay him a short term deal now instead of Drafting a big name back who won't be there when they pick in the late first round anyway.
The Jets also need to sell the rest of their "luxury" personal shylock licenses in the new stadium and Tomlinson helps them do that. Sell tickets, expensive ones, and quickly.
Update: as of 8:30 Pm eastern, several outlets are reporting that Tomlinson has signed a 2 year deal with the Jets. The Daily News is reporting his deal is worth 5.2 million dollars for the two years, and can rise to 5.7 million with incentives. His agent Tom Condon told the AP "He wanted to go a team that he thought had a chance to compete for the championship," "He wanted to go somehwere where he had a chance to have a significant role, and so with the Jets he also was going to be very familiar with the offensive system."