On the Rotoworld news shift, we've been keeping tabs on all of the LaDainian Tomlinson news and opinions coming out of San Diego regarding his tenuous future. Gregg Rosenthal wrote an excellent blog post this morning, summing up the week in LT2:
LaDainian Tomlinson believes it's "ridiculous" the team would want to trade him. A.J. Smith had his feelings hurt when LaDainian Tomlinson went public with his injury and isn't a fan of Tom Condon. Nick Canepa thinks Tomlinson is "likely gone." Tim Sullivan thinks Tomlinson's release is "almost inevitable." Even Kevin Acee, an excellent and sober Chargers beat writer, thinks in this video that the Chargers are leaning towards letting him go. Owner Dean Spanos is telling everyone to calm down, but that everything must be considered. The fans want to keep him.
All this in the first week of the Chargers off-season. Get your popcorn ready!
Here's what I think, in convenient list form:
1. Cutting Tomlinson would save $6 million against the cap and he's not worth $6.725 million base salary.
2. All of these reporters are getting their hunches from somewhere. While I doubt any decision has been made, they probably are getting the feeling from the front office that they are ready to move on. Smith hardly denies it.
"You're assuming,” Smith says, “that, if we have to move on, we're not capable of getting another running back.”
3. So ... you're saying there's a chance? The emotion of the last week may also be a factor after Smith was so annoyed about LT's injury talk. Perhaps time away will bring about cooler heads. Smith also may think that Tomlinson puts himself above the team, like Jim Mora Sr. pointed out earlier this year when Tomlinson was talking about playing calling. "LT needs to shut his mouth," Mora said. "Do your job."
4. I doubt that Tomlinson would take a paycut to stay. He's too proud and will want to see what he can get elsewhere. For a player of LT2's stature, the Chargers probably won't even ask him to take a paycut. That's what Canepa thinks and I agree.
5. I doubt the Chargers could get a first-day draft pick for Tomlinson with his contract. Most likely, the options are to keep him at his current salary or cut him.
6. Smith also was quick to say that he doesn't see Darren Sproles as a primary back. If Sproles returns, he's going to be a complementary player again. I'm not sure any other team will give Sproles a starting job - Evan Silva and dynasty man Chris Wesseling don't think so - but Smith's statements lead me to believe Sproles can get a better contract elsewhere.