I’ve been waiting for almost a full decade to get him and this year is the year. I can feel it. And although he might be a shadow of his former self, I still think he’s got a little somin, somin left in the tank and one lucky NFL team will be happy to get him as well.
The player I covet is LaDainian Tomlinson. I’ve always been a big fan, but only from a distance. And while it won’t be necessary to spend the top overall pick in my Fantasy Football Draft on him as has been the case for most of the last nine seasons, he will be taking up a roster spot on my squad come September.
After posting HOF-caliber production in eight of his nine seasons in the NFL, the San Diego Chargers officially severed ties with Tomlinson earlier this week, assuming Tomlinson’s 3.3 yard average is an indication of things to come for the veteran back. While I don’t see LT reverting back to MVP-level of play of the past, I’m not ready to toss him in the scrap heap where guys like Shaun Alexander and Edgerrin James went to die after running all the tread off their respective tires.
From everything I’ve heard or read about the former TCU star, he’s a hard-working, determined individual who would cherish a chance to flip off his former team and find a new home where he can recreate some of his old magic. One of those guys you never want to bet against, ya know? If you consider that it was just three seasons ago when LT was the NFL’s best back, rushing for more than 1,800 yards and 28 touchdowns, you’d have to assume that LT still has more to offer. His numbers dropped off severely in 2010 when his attempts fell to 229 after averaging more than 300 in every season prior. Couple that with the fact that the Chargers offensive line woefully underachieved last season and his paltry 3.3 average and 730 rushing yards are far more understandable. Let’s also not forget that since Phillip Rivers has emerged as a top-10 quarterback, the focus of the Chargers running game has gone from run-heavy to more of an afterthought.
I’m well aware that the number of carries and hits LT has endured over the past nine seasons will eventually catch up with him, I just don’t see that time being right now. Not sure which team Tomlinson will end up with in 2010, but whoever signs him will likely get an instant upgrade in the backfield. As for me, I’ll be the guy saying “remember how LT was always the automatic No. 1 pick” at my Fantasy Draft and following it up with “oh how the mighty have fallen, right?” Then I’ll scoop him up with my 9th-round pick and giggle all the way to the league title with LT anchoring my squad just like I’ve always wanted.