According to ESPN's John Clayton, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is interested in bringing LaDainian Tomlinson to Pittsburgh. Before I go any further, I'll note that gauging just how interested Tomlin and the Steelers might be is impossible to judge. Why? Because quite frankly, I'm sure just about every coach in the National Football Leauge (save Norvell Turner) has said or would say that they'd love to have a player and locker room presence like LT on their side in 2010. So who knows just how 'interested' Tomlin is.
I would say though that adding a piece like LT would be an outstanding move for the Steelers. Now, I'm usually not one who's interested in Pittsburgh acquiring a 'big name' player who, for any number of reasons, is past his prime, injury prone or too expensive. Larry Johnson for example never intrigued me as a possibility in Pittsburgh.
But LT does. For one, the Steelers are going to need somebody to spell/compliment Rashard Mendenhall. If the Steelers do in fact make a stronger commitment to running the ball next year, then there simply has to be somebody besides Mewelde Moore to hand the ball off to. What about Isaac Redman? Or some late round draft pick or undrafted free agent signing this summer? Those are options, no doubt.
But, in my opinion, Bruce Arians will be much more inclined and likely to make a legitimate commitment to running the football if there were two proven, capable backs in the stable like Mendenhall and LT. If it's some inexperienced option like Redman or an UFA rookie, something tells me Arians puts the ball back in Ben's hands too often.
What about cost? Well on that front, I'm just not sure what to say. I don't know what the market for LT's services will be like. I personally don't think that the 2010 uncapped year will affect the spending of the vast majority of teams; and I also don't think that the few teams who do spend more than would be allowed if there were a cap will spend extravagantly, or said differently, in a New York Yankees-esque type of way that clearly gives them a competitive advantage over the rest of the league.
We'll see. I certainly wouldn't say it's 'likely' or even 'somewhat likely' that LT winds up in the black and gold. But I would gladly welcome him if it did happen. There may be other opportunities out there for LT that would allow him to be a featured back rather than a complimentary option. But if LT wants to win a Super Bowl and wouldn't mind taking on a different role than he's been in his entire career, maybe just maybe he'd entertain an offer from the Steelers.