NFC North: LaDaininan Tomlinson

Tomlinson has left the building*

March, 11, 2010
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Just for old time's sake, I stopped by Minnesota's practice facility Thursday afternoon and stood with the media assembled at the end of the driveway. Call me crazy.

At about 6:10 p.m. ET, free agent running back LaDainian Tomlinson walked out the front door accompanied by a member of the Vikings' personnel department. Tomlinson was carrying a purple Vikings jersey (No. 21, it appeared). He said a quick goodbye to the staffer, jumped in a limo and departed the premises.

ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported Tomlinson has a tentative visit scheduled for Friday with the New York Jets. I can't tell you exactly what is happening at the moment, but it sure appeared as though Tomlinson's visit here has concluded.

*UPDATE: Tomlinson has already told Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated that he enjoyed his visit to Minnesota but is heading to New York for a second visit.

We'll keep you updated.

Black and Blue all over: LT and Bears

February, 26, 2010
If sentimentality plays any role, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune, LaDainian Tomlinson could be a good fit in Chicago.

Bears Hall of Famer Walter Payton was one of Tomlinson's first football heroes. He named his dog "Sweetness," and his personal trainer calls him "Walter" during conditioning work for motivation.

As Haugh writes, the Bears should only pursue Tomlinson if it's on their terms. And that means Tomlinson recognizing he is no longer a feature back, and accepting a secondary role behind Matt Forte. That role could still have exceptional production, especially in new offensive coordinator Mike Martz's passing game, but would require a career realization that Tomlinson probably hasn't made yet.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • In a letter to Bears season ticket holders, team president Ted Phillips lauded the "renewed focus on winning" that Martz and new defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will bring to the team. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune has more.
  • Minnesota place-kicker Ryan Longwell is expected to receive a $500,000 roster bonus on March 7, notes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
  • New Buffalo coach Chan Gailey didn't provide a ringing endorsement of former Green Bay quarterback Brian Brohm, notes Jason Wilde of
  • The Packers' need for offensive linemen will coincide with one of the deepest line groups in recent memory, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As many as eight offensive linemen could be selected in the first round of the draft.
  • Detroit coach Jim Schwartz wants to find a permanent starter at left guard, writes Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Schwartz did not endorse the premise that the Lions must take a defensive tackle with the No. 2 overall pick, notes Cotsonika.