Browsing the internet this morning, I came across a post at ProFootballTalk.com that mentioned the possibility of LaDanian Tomlinson finding a new home in Detroit.
I almost had to do a double take.
I mean, the Lions? We’re talking about LaDanian Tomlinson, once the most feared running back in all the land, the first pick in every fantasy draft, the best player in the league. Emphasis on the word ‘once’.
He may be past his prime, but he feels he can still help a team in a big way. The article was talking more about the Lions’ potential interest in LT than LT’s interest in the Lions. But Mike Florio brings up some interesting points as to why Tomlinson might take a long, hard look at Detroit.
With the possibility of an uncapped season on the horizon, teams will be offering a lot of money to free agents. Are the Lions a team who can offer a lot of money? They’ve got a lot of money invested in Matthew Stafford (about $41 million guaranteed) and Calvin Johnson (about $27 million guaranteed), and they’re going to have a high pick (2nd overall) in this year’s draft as well. That means guaranteeing another big contract. Recent developments have the Rams looking hard at taking Sam Bradford first overall, which would leave the Lions to take either Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy, both dominant defensive tackles.
Whichever way they go, they’ll owe their pick a lot of money. Last year’s second pick, offensive tackle Jason Smith, got a $62 million deal from the Rams with $33 million guaranteed.
So can the Lions lure LT?
Put yourself in Tomlinson’s shoes. You’re 30 years old, and by all accounts you are past your prime and can’t be a featured back anymore. You’ve never won a championship, and the Lions probably aren’t a prime candidate to get to the Super Bowl in the next couple of years.
That all being said, the Lions are a team that I think will keep getting better. Sure, they’ve only got two wins in the last two years, but they’ve been building through the draft. They’ll keep getting bette.