With mini-camp freshly behind them and training camp just around the corner, the Jets and their fans have plenty of reasons to be excited about Rex Ryan's second season.
LaDainian Tomlinson shouldn't be one of them.
One of Gang Green's more curious moves this offseason was jettisoning Thomas Jones after a 1,402-yard rushing year and signing Tomlinson to replace him.
Tomlinson's low-cost signing had all the makings of a marketing gambit to juice stagnant PSL sales that -- like the Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold contract scuffles -- are casting a considerable black cloud over the Jets' otherwise promising hopes.
If only the Jets could have signed the 2007 Tomlinson.
Even without pads or contact, it didn't take a grizzled NFL scout to notice in the Jets' recent workouts that Tomlinson just doesn't look like the same player who terrified opposing defenses with his slippery moves and sublime hands for nine seasons with the Chargers.
Tomlinson appears bulkier and definitely a step (or three) slower than he did in his prime, which is to be expected from a running back who next week turns 31 -- increasingly the point of no return in the NFL -- with his incredible amount of mileage.
Tomlinson could still have some fantasy value depending on his role, but might be a riskier start than he was in the past. Shonn Greene figures to get a bulk of the work in the Jets run-first offense, and this news could only boost his value.