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Tomlinson's choice might come down to Jets or Vikes

San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson carries

San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson carries the ball during the first quarter. (January 3, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

The Jets are in a holding pattern.

LaDainian Tomlinson flew home to San Diego Saturday morning to begin mulling his options, one day after the Jets gave the unrestricted free agent the red-carpet treatment. The future Hall of Fame running back left without signing a deal and is expected to talk things over with his wife before making his next move.

Though Tomlinson is said to have visits to the Eagles and Saints planned for this week, it apparently is a two-team race between the Jets and Vikings for the services of the former Charger. He could make his decision over the weekend.

Tomlinson, 30, had dinner with general manager Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan and other club personnel at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., on Friday night and remained in the metropolitan area until Saturday morning. That's in part because no flights to the West Coast were available once they'd finished things up at dinner.

The visit here came after a two-day trip to Minnesota, where Tomlinson spent Thursday at the Vikings' team headquarters after having dinner with members of the Vikings' staff the day before. He was impressed with their operation and left with a Vikings jersey in his hand as he hopped into his limousine and headed to the airport.

Tomlinson's arrival would fill the void left by the release of Thomas Jones, who signed early last week with the Chiefs. He could be a mentor for starter Shonn Greene and provide insurance in case restricted free agent Leon Washington, who's expected to be ready by training camp, suffers any setbacks in his comeback from a broken right fibula.

He also likely would get more touches with the Jets, particularly in short-yardage situations. The Vikings already have All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson, a three-time Pro Bowler who ran for 1,383 yards and 18 touchdowns during the regular season.

For a few minutes Saturday, a few people probably thought Tomlinson had made his choice. During the early afternoon, nflshop.com was offering a Vikings jersey with Tomlinson's name stitched in white on the back, complete with the number zero.

However, once the word spread quickly on the Internet, the item was taken down and the link no longer worked.

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