There were two super star running backs released over the past couple of days.  First, LaDanian Tomlinson, the lightening fast, powerful back previously of the San Diego Chargers.  Second, Brian Westbrook, the dual threat back formerly of the Eagles.  Both were due rather large roster bonuses that their former teams were not willing to pony up.

For LT, he is 30 years old, the age where most running backs are put to pasture.  I think that if he wasn’t such a high maintenance player and was willing to restructure his deal, he would still be a Charger.  The truth is, his unwillingness to take less carries and split time with Sproles, led to the Charger’s defeat in the playoffs versus the Jets.  He averaged a career low 3.3 yards per carry and 52.1 yards per game.  It is also the first season he didn’t rush for 1000 yards and the second season he had less than 300 carries.

Many experts feel that Tomlinson is way past his prime and that there are not many teams out there right now that are going to be willing to shell out the $3 million he wants.  Especially if his best bet would to be as a split time starter.  Personally I hope he retires and spares himself the stigma associated with playing for another team, then retiring.  He is a Hall of Famer right now.  There is nothing lest to prove for him except a Super Bowl ring.

Brian Westbrook is another story.  He is a player that never quite lived up to his reputation.  Every year that looked like it would be a break out season ended with a series of injuries.  He had one spectacular season, in 2007 he rushed for 1333 and 771 yards receiving. Then a quick falling off in 2008 and 2009, the year that he also turned 30.  Brian’s options are even slimmer than LT’s, as he is not a starting running back anymore.  His only options might be as a backup with a Super Bowl contender.  He had a great career, not a Hall of Fame career, but solid none the less.

From a hobby perspective, Brian Westbrook’s cards are fairly affordable.  Most of his autograph cards run for $10 or less.  The card pictured below sold for $12 on eBay.  LaDanian is a completely different story.  His autographed cards average $75 – $100, with many going for significantly more.  The card pictured below went for $175.  His decision to continue playing or retire should have no effect on his cards and you can expect them to only go up from here.

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3 responses »

  1. Alex says:

    I think it is unfair to blame San Diego’s playoff loss to the Jets on Tomlinson. The missed field goals played a large part, as did the rest of the offense. San Diego’s offensive line last year also didn’t play as well as it had in previous years – not only was Tomlinson’s yards per carry down, so was Sproles – by 1.7 yards.

    As for Westbook, it is also unfair to say he did not live up to his reputation. Westbrook had a reputation as a dual threat in a pass first team, who was injury prone due to his small size. There is no doubt he was that, and undoubtedly one of the most versatile backs in the game in his prime.

  2. kevin says:

    Eagles or 49ers should get tomlinson I think he will be good for 2 more seasons

  3. one of them will end up in New England… the other in Tampa? maybe Pittsburgh?

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