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Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Is Tomlinson headed for the Beast?

By Matt Mosley

Now that future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson has been released by the San Diego Chargers, it will be interesting to see where he lands. Tomlinson told SI.com's Jim Trotter that his main goal is to join a contender. And most contenders generally have one thing in common.
"I do know that I would have to go to a team that has a [proven] quarterback," Tomlinson said. "A place where you know you have a chance to win because of the quarterback."

Trotter mentioned the Eagles, Patriots and Packers as potential fits for Tomlinson. If the Eagles signed Tomlinson, they'd likely release veteran Brian Westbrook. The two running backs are both in their early 30s and they've seen steep declines in their numbers. Would Tomlinson be that much of an upgrade over Westbrook at this point? I don't think so. And that's why the Eagles will probably steer clear of him.

The other team in the NFC East that might have some interest in Tomlinson is Washington. Coach Mike Shanahan has a great appreciation for Tomlinson because he coached in the same division for so many years. The Redskins are still trying to figure out what to do at quarterback and running back, though, which might make them less appealing to the former Chargers great.

Still, you could make the argument that Shanahan's presence alone will quickly turn the Redskins into a contender. And Tomlinson might not have as many options as one might think. I'm sure he'd love to reunite with Drew Brees in New Orleans, but that's also unlikely. The Patriots have made a living on signing players in the twilight of their careers, so that's a definite possibility.

But don't rule out the Houston Texans. After all, Ryan Moats was starting (and succeeding) at one point in '09. Gary Kubiak also has a great appreciation for LT from his time in the AFC West. Where do you guys think Tomlinson will land?