The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Brees & L.T.? A Big Easy

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He hasn't been released just yet, but Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson may get cut loose soon if he doesn't accept San Diego's offer to restructure his contract. The future Hall-of-Famer probably still has just enough left in the tank to help another team for a couple of years. Drew Brees, who played with LT from 2001-2005, has gone on record as saying that he'd love to have a reunion in New Orleans, and the timing might be perfect for all involved.

There's no doubt that Tomlinson has lost the top speed on his wheels, but he still functioned well enough in 2008 to put up over 1,000 yards and 3.8 yards per carry behind a very disappointing Chargers offensive line. The Chargers ranked 22nd in Football Outsiders' Adjusted Line Yards statistic, which splits responsibility for rushing production based on play length. The Saints don't have an incredible line, but they do have the most productive offense in the NFL, according to DVOA, and defenses are forced to back off because Brees is a killer with his ability to hit his marks through the air. What the Saints don't have is a feature back. Deuce McAllister finally wore down, Pierre Thomas is a youngster with potential, and Reggie Bush is more a do-it-all player than an elite running back. Tomlinson would fit that offense like a glove -- he loves to catch the ball out of the backfield, and his familiarity with Brees would make the transition much easier.

If Tomlinson does get released, the Saints should pounce immediately -- I think he would be a real difference-maker in their offense, at least in the short term.

By Doug Farrar  |  March 10, 2009; 8:36 AM ET  | Category:  Doug Farrar , Free Agency , NFL , New Orleans Saints , San Diego Chargers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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