LaDainian Tomlinson with the New York Jets: Why It Isn't Worthwhile

Old AccountSenior Writer IMarch 16, 2010

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

It is official ladies and gentlemen, LaDainian Tomlinson is coming to the bright lights of New York.

The former MVP signed a two year, $5.1 million deal with possible incentives, according to ESPN Insider Adam Schefter.

Tomlinson replaces veteran Thomas Jones, who after a career year was left to find a new home by the New York Jets after the emergence of rookie back Shonn Green.

Since the signing, Jet fans have been nothing more then ecstatic about LT joining the Jets. Tomlinson now runs behind one of the more talented offensive lines in football, where if used right he may work out in the end.

It is also believed he will take on Leon Washington's role of catching passes in the backfield.

The signing brought mixed feelings upon me. Can Tomlinson resurrect his career now that he will take a lesser role in a more stable offense? Will he be healthy enough throughout a 16 game regular season to play at the highest level, or will injuries take a toll?

After listening to ESPN radio a few hours ago, I am convinced that the deal may not be as good as we think it will be.

The question was brought up, and it did make some valid points. Is Tomlinson here to replace Thomas Jones, or Leon Washington? Is he here to be more of a threat in the short yardage passing game for Mark Sanchez, or is he expected to help carry the load if Shonn Green isn't ready to step up his game?

The Jets are in a similar situation as the Ravens were last season. With a second year quarterback taking strides, the second year running back is expected to as well. Ray Rice proved he was ready to take the next step. However, he had young, fresh backs to help with the load if needed.

We aren't certain if Green can take on 25 carries a game and I don't see Tomlinson replacing a 1,400 yard back in Thomas Jones.

A stat that I was shocked to hear was the following: Out of all the starting running backs in the NFL, Tomlinson was last in the league on yards per carry after facing contact.

If that is the case, how will Tomlinson perform after he breaks through the open holes? The stats show the old, injured prone body will catch up to him.

Who knows though.

In the end, it may be an investment that pays off for Gang Green. However, if the Jets are expecting Tomlinson to be the missing piece to the offense, they are quite mistaken.

We will never see the LaDainian Tomlinson of old, which in the end may not make this deal so worthwhile after all.

Matt Miselis is an NFL writer and Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com.


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