Quick backstory: there's speculation that the team could release or trade LdT because of his huge salary-cap hit and his recent struggles to stay healthy. And at this point, it's just that: a bunch of people with no say in the matter pontificating on what might happen this offseason.
Understandably, Tomlinson's not thrilled with the talk and decided to address them on his website. And via the San Diego Union-Tribune, Smith reacts:
"My first reaction was we both have similar feelings," Smith said. "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.Ah, yes, I see what Smith is doing there -- mocking Tomlinson. That should help assuage any concerns LdT might have about his future with the Chargers. As the Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee writes, however, "Smith empathized, yet was typically unmoved by the sentiments expressed by LaDainian Tomlinson on his Web site Wednesday."
"As for now, I am the Chargers' GM, and I have major decisions to ponder for the organization now and in the future. My recommendation to Dean Spanos will be what's in the best interest of the team – both short and long term. That's my job. That's what Dean hired me to do."
That sounds about right, particularly in light of Brinson's post yesterday -- Smith isn't one to get all sentimental, even with the franchise's best player. Which is why he might ask Tomlinson to take a pay cut. and, as the North County Times suggests, "go in a different direction should negotiations go south."
This is the same guy who rushed for more than 1,300 yards in six of the last seven seasons. Just in case you forgot: the NFL is a business.