Many times when a free agent visits with a prospective NFL team, said team doesn’t allow said free agent to leave the building without a contract. With free agent RB LaDainian Tomlinson visiting the Vikings this week, some are under the assumption that the Vikings and Tomlinson won’t part ways until a deal has been reached.
But both Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress and VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman, while speaking with reporters at Wednesday’s University of Minnesota pro day, didn’t sound as if they were operating under such an assumption. While they are no doubt interested in the idea of adding Tomlinson to their roster (which is why they’re visiting with him), they’re just as insistent that they do their homework before making a decision.
“We’re just going through our process,” Spielman explained. “He was a guy out there that we felt was a viable option and we’ll go ahead and have him come in; we’ll visit with him and just see where things are. It’s just a normal process that we go through.”
Among the topics that will likely be addressed during Tomlinson’s visit, aside from money and length of contract, are surely Tomlinson’s specific role in the Vikings offense and as a veteran on a team that went 12-4 last year along the way to the NFC Championship Game.
“I think probably he’s coming in and touching and tasting us, and we’re doing the same thing to see where his mind’s at,” Childress, who talked to Tomlinson on Wednesday, said. “It’s a little bit of both. Does the situation fit him? I’m sure he wants to know what our vision is for him. And then our sense for him. Will he fit? From a mindset standpoint, from a physical standpoint, from a system standpoint.”
Childress indicated that part of the Vikings decision-making process as it relates to Tomlinson is to turn to resources who might be familiar with the 5-time Pro Bowler, such as LB Ben Leber (a teammate of LT’s in San Diego), G Steve Hutchinson (who shares an agent with LT) and also Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner.
Both Childress and Spielman commented on Wednesday that LT has gas remaining in the tank, even after a 9-year career in San Diego that saw him carry the ball 2,880 times. If both sides like what they here this week while meeting with one another, LT may be driving the rock with Peterson for the Vikings in 2010.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Ben Leber, Rick Spielman, Steve Hutchinson
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 12 Comments »