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Chargers' decision on L.T. has some scratching their heads

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]


    By Vic Carucci | NFL.com

    LaDainian Tomlinson doesn't have a bigger fan in the San Diego Chargers' organization than team president and CEO Dean Spanos.

    That is why, despite the questions that once surfaced about the running back's future in San Diego, the Chargers and Tomlinson were able to finally work out a restructuring of his contract that runs through 2011.

    For Spanos, completing the deal was personal, which came through loud and clear in the following comment he issued through the team's public relations department Tuesday night: "It was important to me to get this done so LT could continue his career here in San Diego where he means so much to our team, our fans and our community. The alternative was just unthinkable. He belongs in San Diego."

    The perspective is understandable. But not everyone around the league with whom I've spoken about the transaction agrees that a parting of ways should be regarded as "unthinkable."

    Certainly, Tomlinson is an iconic figure who has served the Chargers well as their most recognizable name and face. He has been the consummate good guy throughout his career, which only enhanced his tremendous achievements as a player.

    But he's entering his ninth NFL season, which is overtime territory for a running back. On June 23, he turns 30 years old, an age when the skills of even highly talented backs begin to take a noticeable slip. And, because of his age and all of those years of pounding, he has become injury prone.

    That has one coach from another NFL team questioning whether retaining Tomlinson was such a wise investment.

    "He's a great player, don't get me wrong," said the coach, who requested anonymity. "But he's got a lot of injury problems."

    The Chargers placed a franchise tag on Darren Sproles, who is a younger, healthier and more dynamic running back. Sproles is entering his fifth NFL season and turns 26 on June 20. He was a hero of the Chargers' postseason, and his ability to go the distance every time he touches the ball occupied more of the thoughts of the opposition than Tomlinson.

    At least one coach whose team faced the Chargers in 2008 said there was no question as to the bigger difference-maker between Sproles and Tomlinson.

    "Sproles is more dangerous to me than the other guy," said the coach, who requested anonymity. "I was more concerned about Sproles than I was about Tomlinson. He's quick, explosive, and Tomlinson doesn't have that anymore. Sproles is much better and I guarantee he will be a greater factor next season."

    According to sources close to the situation, the process of getting the restructuring completed was sometimes contentious, primarily because of a strained relationship between Chargers general manager A.J. Smith and Tomlinson's agent, Tom Condon. Earlier this month, it looked like a deal would not be achieved. But, sources said, Spanos intervened and played a key role in bringing both sides to a middle ground. The key was that Tomlinson would see no change in his 2009 salary of $6.725 million, but receive considerably less than the $17-plus million he was due over the final two years so the Chargers would have the cap space to address new contracts for quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates.

    In a statement issued by the Chargers, Tomlinson went out of his way to praise Spanos' involvement in the talks, noting that he "made it work for everyone." To some around the league, there is suspicion of lingering hard feelings between Tomlinson's camp and Smith.

    "I think (Spanos) probably, told (Smith), 'Sign this guy,'" an NFL coach said. "There was a bitterness there, and now, if things don't go well (during the season), there's going to be that animosity there."
     
  2. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    You know who else was born in 1979 and has "injury problems" BRIAN F'ING WESTBROOK - the difference is, Westbrook is ALWAYS hurt but no one talks about his breaking down or being old, or losing a step :p Hell all they ever do is praise him for his toughness.

    I can't wait for LT to show everyone up in 09.
     
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  3. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

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    those same anonymous coaches would have loved to have LT with them, but since LT is staying it's easy to anonymously take shots at AJ and the Chargers, F those p*ssies, if the have something to say, have them put their names on the quotes :tdown:
     
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  4. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Let me translate this from East Coast media to San Diegan Ears

    ahem....<cough>..........


    We were going to jump on the Chargers for letting go of LT. I mean after all he's a hall of fame caliber running back and the heart of the team. We were going to mention all of that when the Chargers did let him go. But now they made a good move so we've had to revamp our writing and thinking to ensure that the Chargers still look stupid. So now LT has a much stronger injury history' and this is a foolish decision and LT should've been gone.
     
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  5. When Lightning Strikes

    When Lightning Strikes Well-Known Member

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    Anonymous Coach = Shannarat
     
  6. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Couldn't have said it better myself. Damned if we release him, damned if we keep him.

    Its the hater argument. The second we let him go...."OMG the Chargers are the worst franchise in history, how can you just alienate one of the best RB's ever!"

    The second we resign him...."He's washed up, injury prone, and your only gonna get 1 year of production out of him."
     
  7. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    So this anonymous coach from another team know that there was bitterness invovled and Spanos had to twist AJ's arm to make a deal?



    Riiiiight....
     
  8. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    Damn if they do damned if they don't.

    All these tools have one thing in common. They like to beat down the Chargers every chance they get.

    Now for those coaches, what are they going to do when LT and Sproles are on the field. Sproles in a slot sent in motion with LT lined up in the backfield.
     
  9. nflhof

    nflhof BoltTalker

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    Credit to Dean for doing what simply needed to be done. Keep LT!!!! This will work out for us and we will have total harmony by the time summer camp starts. The Chargers have a very bright future and this window closing crap is just a bunch of East Coast media bullcrap. I say F$CK ESPN and thier crappy reporting of the stories that they want to force on us.
     
  10. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    Isn't AG locked up through 2011?

    Little things like that totally invalidate anything else the article may have had to offer. How much can Vic possibly know about the Chargers if he thinks that Antonio Gates had ANYTHING to do with LT and his contract? :icon_huh:
     
  11. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

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    you forgot damned if the Chargers had given him a low contract
     
  12. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    Other NFL coaches talking ****, WHAT? They did this with Favre and Harrison and those guys actually were released. I guess it really is a "damned if you, damned if you don't" situation. Whatever, I think the mood in San Diego has really shifted and it will become clear on draft day that this is THE move forward and we're not letting anything stand in the way of our run to the Superbowl. The Chargers really needed this because the AFC West is being looked as resurgent, with us always being considered the black sheep but I don't think we're going to hear that anymore unless we really fall back down. I can't wait to see LT flip that ball in the endzone again.
     
  13. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

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    looking at it from another perspective, I want people to talk sh*t about LT, that he's injury prone, has lost a step, doesn't show up for the playoffs, et. I bet LT is just eating that up and will show the entire league that he is one of the best ever :tup:
     
  14. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Let them talk, all it's going to do is make that Lombardi that much more beautiful. We have never been the media darling's, get use to it cause it ain't changing until we win the big one.
     
  15. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    It was probably one of these damn new coaches in the AFC West that has yet to coach a game. Maybe even Tom the cable guy.
     
  16. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    More likely its some other east coast homer who can't find San Diego with a compass, a map and both hands. Again the mantra must be maintained at all costs that the Chargers F**ked up and are not a good team.
     
  17. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    Adding, the only real concern for me is the injury. Apparently, I don't know any surgeons so this is actually third-hand from Mr. Acee on NFLTA, it is more likely for this particular injury to happen again. That doesn't mean it will but having it worked on/not having it worked on matters only slightly with the probability of it recurring increasing no matter what and that is a bit troubling. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
     
  18. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    What about Wade?:icon_shrug:
     
  19. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    I don't think so. Otherwise, the article would have said "anonymous bitter, fired, ex-coach."
     
  20. Moses

    Moses Can You Stand The Rain?

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    I'm so glad he's staying, i love LT as much as i love the Chargers, i just couldn't picture him going anywhere else man.

    To be fair he put up good numbers considering he was hurt for most of the year, so fully fit i definitely believe he can still do it at elite level.
     
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  21. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    C'mon guys, do I really need to say it?





    :bolt:EMBRACE THE HATE:bolt:
     
  22. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

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    LT playing through injury all year in by far his worst season:

    1110 yards rush 426 yards rec 11 rush TD 12 total TD 1 Fumble (zero lost)

    Brian Westbrook (2008- Made more money than LT after signing a monster deal. Same age as LT....Injured WAY more often over his career...Has produced WAY less....Has a WAY better offensive line...yet the media gives him a pass)
    936 yards rush 402 yards rec 9 rush TD 14 total TD 2 Fumbles.

    Marion Barber (2008- Made more money than LT...far better offensive line)

    885 yards rush 417 yards rec 7 rush TD 9 Total TD 7 Fumbles

    Larry Johnson (2008- made more money than LT after signing a monster contract a year ago..supposedly a super star back...same age as LT)

    874 yards rush 74 yards rec 5 total TD 5 fumbles

    Willie Parker (2008- Leading RB for SB champs)

    791 yards rush 13 yards rec 5 total TD's

    Joseph Addai (2008- supposedly a top young back)

    544 yards rush 206 yards rec 5 rush TD...7 total TD's 1 fumble

    Maurice Jones-Drew (2008- supposedly a top young back)

    824 yards rush 656 yards rec 12 TD rush 14 total TD's 6 Fumbles

    Marshawn Lynch (2008- supposedly a top young back)

    1036 yards rush 300 yards rec 8 rush TD 9 total TD 2 fumbles


    Conclusion: LT is held to a ridiculous standard...That comes with the territory of being a HOF back. If he is back to normal, there are only a couple of backs in this league who can come close to matching his all-in production (rush / receiving / no turnovers)
     
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  23. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    One person needs to embrace that hate, and that's LT
    This is just noting the blatant obvious BS that the media deals in
     
  24. pure-sol

    pure-sol Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree with you, but to be fair MJD split carries last year. I don't think he'd be up to LT's level as a feature back (we'll see this year I think), but I just wanted to point that out.
     
  25. timepiece33

    timepiece33 BoltTalker

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    We can go through history and discount Carucci's assumptions. LT has atleast two good years left and we don't even know the parameters of the deal completely.

    Also, those sources that "said it got contentious" should listen to this interview with Condon.

    http://www.mighty1090.com/common/global_audio/40/5280.mp3

    Condon is a lot of things, but the guy is pretty upfront.
     
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  26. TheBeast

    TheBeast BoltTalker

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    Let the Hater's hate, LT still has it and he will prove everyone wrong.

    He'll rush 3400 yards......
















    - 1400 yards :lol:


    No but really, he's going to beast out there next year....Can I get an amen?
     
  27. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    AMEN BROTHER of Another Mother... :abq2:
     
  28. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    Hmmmm. I wonder what the problem could be then.......btw, nice post boltergeist. Backed it up with stats action!
     

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