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2010 Jets Land 2006 MVP

Leave it to the Jets to sign an aging Hall of Famer in the twilight of his career. In a move that reeked of the Yankees' trademark obsession with acquiring fading talent for publicity purposes, the Jets bypassed the ever-reliable Thomas Jones and inked a two-year, $5.2 million contract with former San Diego Chargers' running back, LaDainian Tomlinson.

And while, at first glance, the deal may seem like a bargain for the NFL's eighth-leading rusher of all time, 2009's numbers may leave some scratching their heads. For starters, Thomas Jones (whose 2010 $5.8 million contract was deemed "too expensive" for the Jets organization) rushed for a career-high 1,402 yards last year - almost twice the yardage of the soon-to-be 31-year-old Tomlinson. Meanwhile, Tomlinson - whose legs have been described as "worn down" - was cut by San Diego after a 2009 outing that resulted in a career-low 730 yards on 233 carries and a league-leading lowest total-yards-after-contact by a starting running back. Granted, it was the first time in Tomlinson's esteemed career that he ran for less than 1,000 yards and granted that that was at least in part due to San Diego's passy-heavy offense. Still, there's no denying the former No. 1 is entering the final drive of his career; you can't ignore three straight years of decling numbers. In the words of a competing GM: "He might have something left in the tank, but to me, in a complementary role, you want to be able to use him on third down - and I don't know if he can do that. You need to be able to pick up blitzes and block and catch the ball. Tomlinson hasn't done a lot of that."

But while optimists in the Jets' front office see Tomlinson recapturing some of his old magic once he reunites with offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, and settles into Gang Green's run-first sytem, this writer isn't convinced.

Too much of what's been happening lately seems to revolve around promoting the new stadium, while too little attention is being paid to what's best for the team. Releasing Jones may yet prove to be a blunder, and the addition of the increasingly pedestrian Tomlinson to the backfield raises some legitimate questions about the future of Leon Washington, a restriced free agent recovering from a broken leg.

While - in the end - nothing is certain, the Jets had similar high hopes for another aging icon two years ago, and we all know how that little experiment turned out.


For more of John's writing, check out http://allhorrorfilms.com/ and http://www.examiner.com/x-36237-Guy-Movies-Examiner .

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like your still bitter over the whole Brett Farve thing...

    ReplyDelete


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