Tomlinson adds new twist to Jets' rivalry

March, 14, 2010
3/14/10
8:35
PM ET
Running back LaDainian Tomlinson has signed a two-year contract with the New York Jets, which adds another layer to the rivalry between the Patriots and Jets.

Along those lines, “adamzeit” writes on Twitter: “LT to the Jets & a bunch of other off-season moves, the Jets only got better while the Pats mostly "stand Pat.” Your thoughts?

I look at things a little differently.

In trading for cornerback Antonio Cromartie and reaching an agreement with Tomlinson, the Jets have added two big-name players whose production hasn’t matched the hype in recent years.

I like the Cromartie trade, because I think Rex Ryan’s defense is a nice fit for him. Ryan also has a proven track record with getting the most out of talented players whose careers have dipped.

As for Tomlinson, I don’t think that move can be viewed in complete context without considering the other domino that fell – the Jets releasing Thomas Jones. That was an unpopular move in the locker room as Jones was considered a team leader, not to mention one of the most productive backs in the NFL over the last three seasons.

Tomlinson is not the same type of leader. In fact, one wonders how he will accept a complementary role with Shonn Greene and Leon Washington. He also hasn’t been as productive as Jones.

Former Patriots vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli had a favorite saying that he wasn’t collecting talent, he was building a team.

In the case of the Jets, they’ve added some well-known talent to a team that surprised in the 2009 playoffs. But I still have my doubts if the totality of their moves has made them a better team.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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