The New York Jets parted ways with four players Monday, three over 30 years old. But the club plans to bring back at least one aging veteran for at least one more season, sources told ESPNNewYork.com.
LaDainian Tomlinson came to New York last offseason after what had already been a Hall of Fame career in San Diego. With the Chargers, Tomlinson had eight consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons before managing just 730 yards in 2009.
Injuries and the gap between salary and production eventually led to Tomlinson's release. He left San Diego after amassing 12,490 rushing yards and 153 touchdowns.
In his first season with the Jets, Tomlinson rushed for 914 yards and six touchdowns, but failed to gain at least 50 yards on the ground in the team's final six regular-season games.
Unlike former Jets teammate Jason Taylor, who is 37 and expected to announce his retirement this offseason, Tomlinson had no immediate plans to hang it up.
"I would definitely like to play, no question," Tomlinson a few days before the Super Bowl, according to ESPN. "Really and truly, I'm under contract, and I fully expect to play football with the Jets next year. Until I'm told otherwise, I just expect to be there."
General Manager Mike Tannenbaum indicated in January LT would return.
“We do expect [Tomlinson] back,” he said.
It appears that Tomlinson will team him up with Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight, young players still learning the nuances of what it means to be an NFL running back.
Their exact roles have yet to be defined, but the most likely scenario includes Greene getting the bulk of the carries, McKnight getting a chance to win the third-down job and Tomlinson spelling both.
That could be a problem for a veteran accustomed to having the offense go through him. But Tomlinson shared carries with Greene last season without incident. And if Rex Ryan's Super Bowl promise proves true, the future Hall of Fame running back will likely have little problem with how the touches are distributed.
Winning, as they say, cures all.