This latest move is somewhat polarizing amongst Jets fans, the biggest reason being L.T. has slowed down in terms of numbers drastically. Heres why Mike T's latest signing, however, makes more sense than you may think.
1. L.T. and Antonio Cromartie were teammates.
Im kind of suprised how few people made this obvious connection. Having multiple players from the same team (like last years Ravens who became Jets) makes the transition exponentially easier. Its easier to become integrated within the locker room and living a new life on the other side of the country.
2. Injury Concerns between Leon and Greene.
We all know about Leon's injury, and he is supposedly making a full recovery. But we arent even sure if he is going to be a Jet next year. I hope he is, but LT provides insurance as a 3rd down back in this case.
But Greene has never proved himself to be a full-time back over a long perios of ime, even in college. In fact, since he was only a star for 1 year in college, it was a reason the Jets liked him because he had less mileage on his body. But his power running style makes Greene extreamely vulnerable to injuries.
3. LT will fit his role perfectly
Ladanian know his time is short and his production has diminished, or he would still be a charger. But his role wont simply be a 3rd down back or just to spell Greene. I would expect carries (on 1st and 2nd down, assuming leon takes 3rd) to be about 60-40 or 70-30 (Greene having more). And that is only on 1st and 2nd downs.
Yes, I expect the Jets to pass more in 2010. But not more than 25 times a game or so, which, in the NFL, is considered a run-heavy offense.
4. LT is the Perfect Mentor....
...besides TJ. But that ship has sailed. So why not bring in a future HOF player to help Greene in his first season as a starter. Having Tomlinson gives that backfield more stability. Who doesn't want to be in the backfield tandem with LT? Besides, if leon leaves, I would expect the Jets to draft a back. Its not like just RBs can learn from a player with the resume of LT. He can show the whole team how he got to become the player he was.
5. Pass Protection
We all watched Leon try to block defensive lineman. It doesnt work. It takes a few years for a back to become adept at doing it on a regular basis, so Greene can't learn it right away. Having LT protect allows Greene to get off the field for rest, too.
Sad but true.
As you can see, this signing isn't all about LT rushing the ball. Tomlinson is more than just a back. Usually, when a team is on the brink of a championship, all it takes is some veteran leadership to get them over the edge (Sharper, Strahan coming back, Bettis, etc.) Now, go find a piece of wood, and knock on it.