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Jets working hard to sign Tomlinson

Former Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson is meeting

Former Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson is meeting with the Jets about a possible contract. (File photo, 2009) Photo Credit: AP

The Jets spent Friday using their best recruiting pitches on LaDainian Tomlinson in an attempt to land the running back.

Tomlinson's courtship continued into the night, and he was wined and dined by general manager Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan and other team personnel at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. He was expected to remain in the metropolitan area overnight, partly because no flights to the West Coast were available once he'd finished meeting with the Jets.

Tomlinson's trip here came on the heels of his two-day stay in Minnesota, where the Vikings wowed him. But he wanted to keep his word and meet with the Jets. They are showing some serious interest in Tomlinson, who was released by the Chargers.

He reportedly had breakfast Friday morning with a collection of Jets executives, including Tannenbaum, Ryan and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who was the Chargers' quarterbacks coach from 2002-05 and is familiar with Tomlinson. He also toured the Jets' training facility in Florham Park, N.J., and met with a few players.

Tomlinson reportedly has tentative visits set up with the Eagles and Saints next week, but it's believed he will choose between the Jets and Vikings, possibly before the weekend ends.

Tomlinson, 30, is coming off the worst statistical season of his nine-year career. Ranked eighth on the NFL's all-time rushing list with 12,490 yards and third in touchdowns with 153, he had 730 yards rushing and 3.3 yards per carry in 2009, both career lows.

But with the Jets, Tomlinson wouldn't be the featured back. That role belongs to Shonn Greene, whose electrifying runs in the postseason led the Jets to believe he's ready to be the workhorse. Tomlinson would complement Green and restricted free agent Leon Washington.

The Jets might be willing to give Tomlinson a contract similar to the two-year, $5-million deal Thomas Jones signed with the Chiefs earlier this week. Jones was released by the Jets on March 5 because he balked at restructuring his contract, which called for a $2.5-million base salary and a $3-million roster bonus.

Notes & quotes: CB Donald Strickland, waived by the Jets March 5, signed a two-year deal with the Chargers . . . Tannenbaum, speaking on WFAN Friday, said of newly signed S Brodney Pool, "I think he'll be more of a significant signing than people realize come the fall."

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