Although nothing is imminent, the Vikings appear to have interest in signing free-agent running back LaDainian Tomlinson to replace Chester Taylor. Taylor left the Vikings after four seasons on Friday to sign with the Chicago Bears.
Tomlinson spent nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers and was the NFL’s MVP in 2006, establishing single-season records with 31 touchdowns and 186 points. He also won the NFL rushing title that season and again in 2007.
However, the 30-year-old was released last month after being slowed by injuries in recent seasons. Tomlinson had two years left on his contract and was due a $2 million roster bonus this month from the Chargers. He would have made $5 million from the team in 2010.
Tomlinson won’t approach that kind of salary with a new club and the fact he remains on the market is evidence of the fact his best years are behind him.
But Tomlinson could play a valuable role for the Vikings as the backup to Adrian Peterson, or All Day as he's known to many of his fans because of his non-stop motor. Tomlinson, who like Peterson is from Texas, would be the primary candidate to end up the third-down role that Taylor played, although Tomlinson’s blocking skills at this point aren’t believed to be on par with Taylor’s.
While the Vikings could be making a pitch for Tomlinson, they aren't believed to have expressed interest in veteran running back Brian Westbrook, who was let go by Philadelphia this month and has battled knee and concussion problems. Vikings coach Brad Childress was Westbrook’s offensive coordinator in Philadelphia for four seasons.