Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum may get his man once again.
Two years after convincing Brett Favre that the Jets were the team for him, the GM was putting the hard sell on veteran running back Ladainian Tomlinson Friday night, and the former San Diego Chargers great and future Hall of Famer may just buy it.
Tomlinson, an unrestricted free agent, arrived at the Jets’ Florham Park facility Friday morning and went to dinner Friday night with Tannenbaum, coach Rex Ryan and other Jets personnel in New Jersey.
At the very least, it seems to be a two-horse race between the Jets and Vikings.
It’s unclear if Tomlinson was originally scheduled to fly home to the West Coast Friday night, but since there were no late-night flights following dinner, he spent the night in New Jersey. His itinerary for Saturday is yet to be determined but the fact that the Jets have kept him in town another night could bode well for them.
Tomlinson is reportedly intrigued with his potential role with the Jets and the idea of being reunited with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who was quarterbacks coach in San Diego while Tomlinson was tearing up the NFL. The Jets like Tomlinson’s leadership ability and feel he can be a mentor to second-year running back Shonn Greene.
Reports were that the Vikings wowed Tomlinson during his visit there on Thursday and Minnesota could be willing to pay him more than the Jets, who are reportedly set to offer Tomlinson the same two-year, $5 million Thomas Jones signed with the Jones last week. The club is believed to have had a chance to match that deal and keep Jones.
But the Jets have Ryan’s dynamic personality, the presence of Schottenheimer and the fact they are Super Bowl contenders as selling points for Tomlinson.