Chargers' RB LaDanian Tomlinson posted a message on his web site saying that he loves San Diego, he wants to stay, if he gets traded he can't control it, blah, blah. All good stuff. LT wants to stay, and who can blame him?
The problem is that the Chargers may not want him. The San Diego Union-Tribune's Bolts Blog pointed out something I didn't know: LT's contract is backloaded, so as his production goes down, his cap number goes up.
This about the back end of his contract being loaded with high salaries and cap numbers and the Chargers needing the flexibility to sign a bunch of other players.
What this is going to come down to is whether Tomlinson will take a pay cut.
The Chargers most likely will offer a new contract to LT -- one that doesn't pay him as much and doesn't make much sense for him to accept based solely on financial considerations.
Tomlinson's agent, Tom Condon, said Wednesday he hadn't "even started thinking about" whether Tomlinson would accept a pay reduction.
With Darren Sproles a free agent, the Chargers have to make a decision -- and make it before the draft. They can't get by with JUST Tomlinson, that's no longer an option considering his increasing injuries and declining production. They need Tomlinson AND Sproles (both with contracts the team can live with) or they need Tomlinson + (somebody) or Sproles + (somebody).
Since Tomlinson's pride might stop him from taking a pay cut and since Sproles is likely to command a premium, it seems unlikely that both LT and Sproles will be wearing the baby blue next season. Look for one of them to be somewhere else, and for a rookie RB to get a good fantasy opportunity in San Diego.