Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman told KFAN Radio today that the Vikings pursuit of free-agent running back LaDainian Tomlinson "could be a process." Tomlinson is at Winter Park this afternoon meeting with Vikings officials, but Spielman refused to say that anything will get done today.
"This could be a process that could continue on and he may want to look at both options," Spielman said, referencing a report from ESPN that Tomlinson will visit the Jets on Friday if he doesn't sign in Minnesota. "He may want to weigh what's the best situation for him. We'll talk with his agent and see where he's at. Just because a guy comes in on a visit and we don't get something done today it doesn't mean that something won't get done down the road either."
Spielman told the station that Vikings officials and Tomlinson "had a good conversation" Wednesday over dinner at Manny's Steakhouse in Minneapolis and that "we'll continue the conversations today."
"I know he'll meet with the coaches and try to see how he fits in and what role they want him to play and we'll just see where it goes from there," Spielman said.
Tomlinson made it clear Wednesday night that he would have no problem taking over Chester Taylor's role as the Vikings' third-down back and playing behind Adrian Peterson.
As far as the report that Tomlinson might be headed to New York later today, Spielman said: "It's all part of the process. He may want to decide to go and explore that opportunity and see what's the best fit for him. The one thing that we always try to make sure of when these players come in is not only is he a good fit for us but is it a good fit for the player and does he want to be here? Does he want to be a part of it? You don't want to go ahead and sign a player and force something on him and he's not totally comfortable here. Then we're not going to get the production we need out of him if he's not comfortable coming to work."
Spielman said Tomlinson will undergo a physical with Vikings doctors but will not go through a workout.
"I have no clue," Spielman said when asked by KFAN host Paul Allen if he thought a deal woult not be reached today. "There's no pressure to say, 'Hey, we have to get him done today,' or there's no pressure if we don't get him done then [to say], 'Oh, God, we're not going to be right at that position.' There is so much time between this time and going into the season and as you know we have done a lot of different things at different points during the offseason."
Allen did ask Spielman if the Vikings had talked to running back Adrian Peterson about Tomlinson coming on board. "That's not a concern because Adrian is our star back and he knows he's the guy who is going to get the bulk of the carries," Spielman said. "That's kind of how we explained it to LaDainian Tomlinson."