Subscribe to this Chargers blog Go to the front page
When Michael Turner comes back to San Diego, the comparisons between he and #21 inevitably follow. The former backup to NFL great Ladainian Tomlinson is having an LT-type season himself, but this comes as no surprise to Charger fans. Michael 'The Burner' Turner was beloved here in SD for the added dimension he brought to Bolt's backfield. He was the thunder to the LT's lightning; he'd rather break tackles than break ankles.
Head Coach Norv Turner knows exactly the type of player 'The Burner' having coached him last season:
"He's doing the things he did here. Last week when we were getting ready for the Indinapolis game we got a glimpse of it a week ahead because he obviously played a lot in that game. LT came out of the game in the first quarter and [Turner] is running the same way he ran in that game. He's a downhill runner and he's got great feet and obviuosly he's very physical and we're going to have to do our best to tackle him."
So while Michael Turner is becoming a superstar in his own right, LT's star is fading in the eyes of some around the NFL. Adam Schefter, NFL insider extraordinaire, blogs over at NFL.com that the Chargers should have strongly considered trading LT before the start of the 2008 NFL season.
It’s hard to question any moves the Chargers they make; they have some of the best personnel in the league.
But there was one move, one blockbuster move, the team could have made last off-season that might have left San Diego in a better position than it is in today.
And it’s a controversial doozy.
But last off-season, before free agency began, the Chargers should have considered trading running back LaDainian Tomlinson. Not only should they have considered it, they should have entertained offers.
Think about how much further along the franchise would be for this season and future ones.
Had San Diego traded Tomlinson, it could have gotten back multiple draft picks. And had Tomlinson been traded, then San Diego could have used the money it pays him to re-sign free-agent running back Michael Turner.
So instead of an aging Tomlinson, who turns 30 this June, the Chargers would have had multiple picks to go along with Turner, who turns 27 in February and has far fewer NFL carries than his former teammate. Which is better for the team?
Just take a look at how Tomlinson and Turner compare this season before the two square off in Sunday’s clash.
Turner vs. Tomlinson
251 Rushes 203
1,088 Rush Yds 770
4.9 Rush Avg 3.8
13 Rush TD 5
56 Rush 1st Downs 35
254 Touches 242
1,099 Scrim. Yds 1,099
13 Total TD 6
"Chargers should have considered trading running back LaDainian Tomlinson. Not only should they have considered it, they should have entertained offers"
It's easy to say it now, but imagine Adam Schefter coming out with that statement last year; the guy would have lost a ton of credibility claiming that an "unproven" Michael Turner could not only replace Hall of Famer Ladainian Tomlinson, but perform at an exponentially higher level.
It's quite a limb to go out on, and yet it still doesn't address the fan sentiment towards #21. And lets not forget the promise AJ Smith made LT when he said his career will not be in vain. So no, the Chargers would have never entertained trade offers for Tomlinson and they never will. LT will bring a Championship to San Diego, and he'll retire a Charger.
Link: Should Chargers have traded Tomlinson?