L.T. Staying in San Diego

The former MVP restructured his contract to stick with the Chargers.

Just a few years removed from his MVP season, Yahoo! Sports is reporting that LaDainian Tomlinson has agreed to a deal to restructure his contract so that he can stay with the San Diego Chargers. This puts to an end tense contract talks that started with the Pro Bowl running back stating that he wanted to stay with the team, and the management not being as sure that they wanted to keep the man who not only won an MVP in 2006, but also the 2006 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

L.T.'s new contract still allows him to make the $6.725 million he was scheduled to earn as part of his salary, but now some of it will be as a signing bonus. The contract restructuring was needed for Tomlinson to stay with San Diego because his back-up, Darren Sproles, will make $6.6 million this year. To keep the Chargers under the NFL salary cap, changes had to be made. Sproles made a mark of his own due to a strong end of season for the Chargers, and coming second in the league for all-purpose yards with 2,297.

Despite L.T.'s production in the past and willingness to make changes in his contract, the Chargers organization didn't seem to be as willing to be as loyal to him. Tomlinson said at the end of last season, where his production was down due to an MCL and stomach muscle injury, that he would like to stay with the Chargers. The Chargers G.M., Alex Smith, then told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he, too, would like to stay with the team:

My first reaction was we both have similar feelings. I have no intentions of leaving San Diego. San Diego is where my GM career started and where I’d like it to end. I also have nothing but love and the utmost respect for this team, the players and the Spanos family. I have absolutely no control over how long I will be with the Chargers.

Cute. Mocking a player who won an MVP for your organization, racked up more than 11,000 yards in eight seasons, and played in five Pro Bowls might seem like a good way to make headlines, but it's also a good way to get pushed aside. L.T.'s contract talks were between Tomlinson's agent and the chargers V.P. of football operations, Ed McGuire.

Tomlinson will now be with the bolts for at least two more seasons, though I have to wonder why he would want to stay there. Well, maybe it's because the weather is nice in San Diego.

Maggie Hendricks also writes for Cage Writer, Yahoo! Sports' MMA blog, and worked on Fourth-Place Medal, Yahoo! Sports' Olympic blog.

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