That may eventually be the case, but the future Hall of Famer joined the Jets with no preconceived notions heading into the summer.
Tomlinson stopped by the ESPN 1050 studios in Dallas on Thursday, sitting in with the "Ben and Skin" show and talked about a role that hasn't been finalized. He will compete for carries with sophomore Shonn Greene and rookie Joe McKnight.
"The thought process is kind of like when you go to college, when you graduate from high school and go to college, you don't look to go in and start," Tomlinson said. "If it happens, it happens. But you go in to find a role on the team, to be a part of something special. That's where I am.
"I think at this point in my career, people put this label and this title on you once you get to a certain age: 'Yeah, he has to be a backup now.' I absolutely don't believe that. You determine your role on the football field, and that's what the Jets have been so great about, allowing me to do that.
"They didn't put a label on me at all. They didn't say 'You know what? You're going to be a backup.' They said 'No, you're going to prove what you can do on the football field,' and that's all I can ask."
Tomlinson, from Texas Christian University, also takes part in a discussion about whether Emmitt Smith or Barry Sanders was the better back, shares his thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys backfield and talks about his greatest single achievement on the field and off.