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LT Chooses Jets Over Vikings; Will Work Behind Greene
As ESPN insider Adam Schefter first reported a short time ago, LaDainian Tomlinson and the New York Jets reached an agreement Sunday on a two-year deal. The deal has since been independently reported by a variety of outlets.

Tomlinson spent Thursday with the Minnesota Vikings, Friday with the Jets and Saturday flying home to San Diego.

Before he left New York, Tomlinson, the eighth leading rusher in NFL history, told some within the Jets organization that he would return soon.

He kept his word.

Tomlinson will join a backfield that also includes running back Shonn Greene, who's coming off a strong rookie season with the Jets in 2009. During the regular season Greene carried 108 times for 540 yards, and in three playoff games he had 54 carries for 304 yards.

As's Michael David Smith notes, the question now is whether Tomlinson, who will turn 31 in June, has enough left to contribute to a Jets team that's coming off a loss in the AFC Championship Game and has Super Bowl aspirations.

There might also be issues in the locker room.

The man Tomlinson is replacing, Thomas Jones, was very popular among teammates. The issues could be even more pronounced if initial reports indicating Tomlinson's two-year deal surpasses the $5 million Jones received from Kansas City (which includes $3 million in base salary this season).

According to New York Daily News staffer Rich Cimini, initial reports indicate the total value of Tomlinson's deal is worth $5.2 million. That total can escalate $5.7 million with incentives.

I'll remind you that Newark Star-Ledger beat writer Dave Hutchinson expressed his believe last week that Jones almost certainly gave the Jets an opportunity to match the Chiefs' offer.

Even if Tomlinson's deal turns out to pay a lesser 2010 salary, Jones has clearly been more productive in recent seasons.

Indeed, the 31-year-old Jones is coming off a season in which he set career highs by rushing for 1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns while helping the Jets make it the title game. And while he certainly wore down late last season, Jones still managed a career-high 331 carries in the regular season.

And while Jones' totals have increased in each of the last two seasons and he hasn't had a sub-1,000-yard rushing season since 2005 (with Chicago), Tomlinson can't say the same.

As Cimini noted this afternoon, since his signature season in 2006, when he won the NFL rushing title (1,815 yards) and captured the league MVP, Tomlinson's production has dropped significantly.

Or as Star-Ledger staffer Manish Mehta put it, Tomlinson's rushing totals have declined 60 percent since 2006 and his overall yardage production is down 62 percent.

Still, the Jets are hoping that, in a reduced role behind an upper-echelon line, some of the old LT magic will resurface.

Cimini went on to suggest they're also banking on his familiarity with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, a former Chargers assistant. He was the quarterbacks coach during for four seasons during LT’s heyday.

His knowledge of Schottenheimer’s offense should give him a head start during his transition to the Jets and the East Coast.

But the bottom line is the Jets are ready to install Greene as their primary rushing weapon -- something apparently more easily done with Jones in Kansas City and with Tomlinson handling the complementary role.