San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson announced earlier this month that he has accepted he will not be back with the Chargers next season and I thought he would be a fit in Kansas City. The Kansas City Star’s Adam Teicher is wondering the same thing today.
A lot of backs can produce for short periods of time. The great ones do it for longer periods and we’re still unsure whether Charles can handle that kind of pressure over a full season. It’s certainly worth finding out whether he’s capable of thriving like that, but the Chiefs need a backup plan in case he buckles.
Even if Charles becomes the player of Kansas City’s dreams, he’s going to need some help. At 200 pounds, Charles isn’t capable of 20-plus touches for 16 games.
The Chiefs could always draft a back but they have bigger priorities in the early rounds. Then they’re taking a chance on a guy drafted in the middle or late rounds.
The Chiefs know what they’re getting with Tomlinson. Sure, he’s near the end of his career. But the Chiefs aren’t asking him to be what he was for so many years with San Diego. Unless Charles fails or is injured, Tomlinson is a 15- or 20-play-a-game guy for the Chiefs and still capable of producing on a smaller scale.
It’s more problematic whether Tomlinson would accept such an arrangement once he’s released by the Chargers. If he wants to be the starter, then forget I even mentioned this. But if he’s willing to accept the realities that face a 30-plus running back with a lot of wear and tear on him, then this is the place for him.
I couldn’t agree more here. The point I was trying to make a couple weeks ago is that more than anything the Chiefs need a guy they know they can give the ball to without worrying about a fumble. You saw the Jets use Thomas Jones in big spots in the playoffs even when Shonn Greene was one of the hottest runners in the league. Jones hadn’t lost a fumble all year and only 1 in the past three seasons, but Greene lost three his rookie year.
Kansas City could be looking at the same type of situation. LT has only lost 4 fumbles over the past five seasons, compared to the four Charles has give up his first two years in the league.
Todd Haley and Charlie Weis need to find a veteran to backup Charles and the unrestricted free agent options when it comes to players willing to play a secondary role (Kevin Faulk, Chris Brown, Adrian “Not That One” Peterson) do not elicit very much excitement. Tomlinson — if he’s willing to play second fiddle — seems like the perfect fit.