A Falcons’ nightmare: Tomlinson to the Saints?

Wonder how happy the Falcons' Michael Turner will be if his team has to go against Tomlinson twice a season. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Wonder how happy the Falcons' Michael Turner will be if his team has to go against Tomlinson twice a season. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

The great thing about an athlete having a Twitter account is it’s like having him sit next to you in a bar. Maybe he’s drunk. Maybe he isn’t. But either way, there’s a pretty good chance that at some point he’s going to say something that hasn’t passed through the usual filter that sanitizes thoughts before they reach the public.

Like this: “I would love to get L.T. in the black and gold.”

That was a message New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees sent out on his Twitter page. The L.T. stands for LaDainian Tomlinson, his former San Diego teammate who was released by the Chargers.

Brees then sent a followup Tweet, saying: “OK, due to popular demand, I am asking the question….who thinks LT should be a Saint?”

Now, personally, I think this would be a great move by the Saints. Tomlinson isn’t an every down back any more but he’s still one of the top running backs in the NFL. Putting him in that offense would be, like, sick, especially given his motivation level will be at an all-time high next season.

And if I’m Falcons coach Mike Smith, my first thought would be: “Oy.”

But Brees’ comment, even if it was delivered as a friend of L.T.’s, could not have gone over well with: 1) Pierre Thomas; 2) Reggie Bush; 3) Mike Bell. Those are the current Saints running backs. The reason NFL teams always have PR lieutenants standing next to media members during interviews now is to monitor stuff like this and remind players to watch what they’re saying.

If Kim Kardashian Tweets something on Reggie’s behalf, I’ll let you know. But the last thing I saw from her was: “Leggings killed velour sweat suits.”

It wouldn’t shock me if L.T. ends up with the Saints. Thomas and Bell are restricted free agents. There’s a chance the team signs  both, but certainly Thomas isn’t going anywhere. He led the Saints in rushing and is a favorite of coach Sean Payton. The wild card here is Bush. He’s scheduled to make $8 million next season, and New Orleans can sign Tomlinson for  a lot less.

After he was dumped by San Diego, Tomlinson told SI.com his primary goal “is to try to win a championship.” Could there be a better place than the defending Super Bowl champions, who also happen to have the league’s top offense and play indoors?

So Falcons’ fans: How would you feel about having to face Brees and Tomlinson twice a year in the NFC South?

134 comments Add your comment

Southside Falcon

February 24th, 2010
8:42 am

Man that would be fearsome as hades! Man I would lose sleep over that. LT is still a great back just wasnt in the right system after they let Lorenzo Neal go. I would ike to see him in red and black though man that would be awsome. Oh and FIRST!!!!!

RomeDawg

February 24th, 2010
8:48 am

I think LT is washed up. I would love to see the Saints take LT over Bush. They would make them a much weaker team. Reggie adds a lot more dimensions of offense to a team than LT does. I hate seeing Reggie getting ready to return punts. He is scary quick. I was worried the Falcons were going to waste their money on LT.

Craig

February 24th, 2010
8:49 am

The Ain'ts

February 24th, 2010
8:49 am

who cares? He cannot stay healthy long enough to do anything. He is done.

Voice of Reason

February 24th, 2010
8:50 am

Actually, LT would fit the bill better on a team like the Colts where they could utilize his skills, play him for a series and then rest him for one, and his presence on that team takes a bit of the pressure off the slots and TEs. But seeing him on the Falcons, or even Broncos, would give him new life and help both those teams.

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

February 24th, 2010
8:51 am

Fifth! LT won’t be much of a factor, I don’t think … 3.3 yards per carry? He’s done. Great guy, but used up. It happens a lot and always has.

Danny

February 24th, 2010
8:52 am

Yeah, Coach Smith is really going to worry about the 3.5 yards a carry he gets these days.

The Writer

February 24th, 2010
8:53 am

By the way, I’d like to condemn television for overfeeding us the word “utilize.” The word “use” rocks, satisfies and abides. “Use,” fever, catch it.

Ackshun

February 24th, 2010
8:53 am

Tomlinson on the Saints wouldn’t scare me too much. Truth is he has lost a step and our defensive line will be healthy next year. Even banged up we were a play or two away from beating these guys twice last year. I would love to see what LT would do with the Saints (or most likely) the Eagles. But either way we get our guys healthy and make a few keys pickups, there is no team in the NFC South that can stop us.

Josh M

February 24th, 2010
8:55 am

Yes, that would be HORRIFIC!

Wait, it is 2006, isn’t it?

Clay

February 24th, 2010
8:56 am

Come on Jeff. Who’s gonna be scared of a washed-up, 3.1 yds per carry back?

RomeDawg

February 24th, 2010
8:56 am

Voice of reason,

Unless going to one of those teams gives him new legs it won’t matter about the “new life”.

Tailback U

February 24th, 2010
8:57 am

As a Falcon fan I kinda hopes he fins a different team but
signing with the Saints would not exactlty strike fear here.
He would likely only take away carries from Bush so it could
be a good thing.

[...] JaMi wrote a very interesting post today.   Here’s a quick excerpt:Drew Brees wants former San Diego teammate LaDainian Tomlinson to sign with the New Orleans Saints, which means Reggie Bush may have to go. [...]

coachx

February 24th, 2010
8:59 am

Why be scared of LT ? (I thought you meant a better Left Tackle. Now that is something that may scare me. LT, the RB, sucks now. He has not averaged over 3.8 yards a carry since he was 28……….he will be 31 this season.

I just hope Turner has another good year or two left in him.

Glad the Saints are letting Sharper go………..he and Will Smith aging should bring the defense down. The still have 3 nice pieces in Jenkins, Ellis, and Vilma on the defensive side though.

Should be a great season in 10-11 !

Go Falcons !

MSS

February 24th, 2010
9:04 am

theres been rumors of the Chargers releasing Darren Sproles i would love for us to get him

lanier

February 24th, 2010
9:07 am

Jeff while this guy was shot from guns a few years ago he would be like Eric Dickerson to the falcons. 3.3 lol

PMC

February 24th, 2010
9:14 am

I’m more afraid of Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell than I am of LT at this point in his career. He would be better served going somewhere that he can get 10 carries a game and only have to do short yardage work. Why would you pass to LDT when you can pass to Reggie Bush? That makes no sense.

PMC

February 24th, 2010
9:15 am

LDT can still score. He’s still got a nose for the endzone but how much is that going to cost?

MeNonymous

February 24th, 2010
9:16 am

@writer – hahahaha. The word “utilize” is utilized way too much. I agree. Nothing wrong with “use.” TV has fed us this word. It’s one of those words that dumb people use to sound smarter. Use fever caught.

71 Falcon

February 24th, 2010
9:18 am

Keep Norwood…………….

Ryan

February 24th, 2010
9:18 am

It doesn’t scare me. LT is done. They can have him. I would take Thomas Snelling over LT.

Nick

February 24th, 2010
9:20 am

Jeff,

How can a running back still be one of the best in the league, but isn’t an every down back? LT is a piece of what he once was. I wouldn’t worry too much if I were Falcons fans.

Jeff Schultz

February 24th, 2010
9:26 am

Rome Dawg — You’re right about losing the punt return aspect with Bush. But LT doesn’t hurt the offense at all.

Jeff Schultz

February 24th, 2010
9:27 am

The Writer — I missed that meeting. Can you send me the mission statements on use and utilize?

TommyP

February 24th, 2010
9:27 am

“Tomlinson isn’t an every down back any more but he’s still one of the top running backs in the NFL.”

How is that possible?

LT is nowhere near what he used to be. His career is and has been on the decline for a few years. Like someone earlier said, give me Sproles as a part time back any day.

CHEF MONTUER

February 24th, 2010
9:28 am

Jeff Schultz

February 24th, 2010
9:29 am

Nick — physically LT obviously he can’t take pounding of being an every down back any more. But he can still be highly effective with fewer touches. How’s that?

matt r

February 24th, 2010
9:32 am

The defending world champion does not need to break the bank on a free agent who has been declining for a couple of years. They will spend their money more wisely than that.

TommyP

February 24th, 2010
9:35 am

Jeff: Define “one of the top running backs in the NFL.”

‘Cause LT no longer can be associated with that statement anymore. (for a few years running now)

NOLA

February 24th, 2010
9:37 am

We don’t need that old man.

our coaches are better than your coaches

our scheme is better than your scheme

our players are better than your players.

Who dat say they gonna beat em superbowl champs?

not the cons. cons just want to look respectable and keep accumulating back to back winning seasons.

remember me shots for matty ice.

Realist

February 24th, 2010
9:40 am

Why would this be a nightmare? Would the Saints win the Super Bowl? Oh wait, they already did. What could be worse than that? Adding an aging running back? How does that make them scarier? They are already the best offense in the league.

TommyP

February 24th, 2010
9:42 am

One more thought on Tomlinson….doesn’t he already receive “limited touches”?

Al

February 24th, 2010
9:43 am

LT is washed up. He doesn’t scare me anymore. Although one of the top 10 backs ever in his prime, he’s not even a top 30 among current backs.

Jeff Schultz

February 24th, 2010
9:45 am

Stunning that it’s almost unanimous here that L.T. has nothing left. I guess we’ll find out the answer next season.

Nick

February 24th, 2010
9:54 am

Jeff,

That sounds better than being one of the best RB’s in the league…

EB

February 24th, 2010
10:02 am

Wouldn’t be surprised to see LT wind up with the Colts. Imagine what they could do if they could occasionally run the ball effectively and defenses had to plan for that.

Dr. Warren

February 24th, 2010
10:04 am

I am sure Michael Turner would secretly relish watching the tables turned and seeing LT sitting on the Falcons bench. As for LT scaring Saints’ opponents, how bad did Earl Campbell the Saint or Emmit Smith the Cardinal or OJ Simpson the 49er scare other teams?

calhoun dawg

February 24th, 2010
10:06 am

Not worried!

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

February 24th, 2010
10:08 am

I am more worried about the falcons running backs , norwood (injury by the first regular season game is a given) turner (seems to have the injury bug also) snelling is a beast but can he do what he does for a full season. is there any possibility the the kid from clemson will drop to the birds and would they draft him if he did ? I know everyone wants defense but i am worried about the running attack

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

February 24th, 2010
10:08 am

I am more worried about the falcons running backs , norwood (injury by the first regular season game is a given) turner (seems to have the injury bug also) snelling is a beast but can he do what he does for a full season. is there any possibility the the kid from clemson will drop to the birds and would they draft him if he did ? I know everyone wants defense but i am worried about the running attack

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

February 24th, 2010
10:09 am

sorry about the double post I dont know why that happened it must be this ancient computer here at work .shh!! dont tell anyone I am at work

JeanE

February 24th, 2010
10:11 am

Honestly, who cares if the Saints get him? He’s a very old for his actual age player, not worried at all if he goes to the Saints. They’re stupid if they dump Reggie Bush for that! I’m more worried about our own team, we can’t concern ourselves with what our rivals are doing. Take care of your own business, Falcons!

JabboRockefeller

February 24th, 2010
10:12 am

If the Chargers thought he had ANYTHING left, after what he’s meant to them, would they let him go?

No.

ATL Fan

February 24th, 2010
10:12 am

I heard that there was a siting of Hank Aaron in Braves spring training camp. Here’s a headline: A Philly’s Nightmare: Hammerin’ Hank in the Braves lineup.

The Ain'ts

February 24th, 2010
10:13 am

Emmit Smith the Cardinal. That’s funny. Running Backs only have a small window of productivity. Running Backs are done after 5-6 seasons. It is what it is.

T

February 24th, 2010
10:17 am

This sounds more like a wonderful dream than a nightmare. Our division rival picks up a geriatric, slow running back who no longer has an ounce of cutback ability. Sign him up Saints.

JabboRockefeller

February 24th, 2010
10:20 am

We should take-up a collection to help the Saints with the signing bonus.

dx107

February 24th, 2010
10:22 am

Not scared in Brunswick, GA.

Bill

February 24th, 2010
10:25 am

That’s why we have a GM. Hope management makes the right decision and I believe they will. I would love to see LT as a Falcon but again thats business decision.

Thanks Jeff for doing a great job with all sports.

The “Writer” is all “use-d up”. Have a good day.