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March 11, 2010 9:46 AM

Introducing the Reverse Incentive

LT smiling.jpgLaDainian Tomlinson was in Minneapolis on Wednesday being courted by the Vikings. The Vikings are looking to replace third down back Chester Taylor and LT could be a great fit. The veteran RB who is second all-time in rushing touchdowns and third in total touchdowns is looking to join a contender. Tomlinson has always been a class-act and he's willing to take a reduced role and play the back-up to Adrian Peterson. Tomlinson even thinks it will make him significantly more productive since he'll no longer have to carry the load.

I've got somewhat of a crazy idea here - so stick with me. Tomlinson is willing to take a reduced role but what if that role became non-existent? LT might be a great guy but he still has his pride. He doesn't want to wind up a cheerleader on the sidelines. And here's where my crazy idea comes into play - what if in the contract there was a reverse incentive?

You've head of an incentive in contracts before. If a player makes the Pro Bowl they get a bonus; if they surpass 1,000 yards they get a bonus; or if they go over 250 carries they get a bonus. Well, the reverse incentive would be something like if they didn't reach a certain number of carries they would get a bonus.

The reverse incentive would be a way for the player to ensure that the team intends on using them. In return, the player takes a bit of a paycut. It is somewhat insane because if the player plays well they receive less money than if they perform poorly. But for a certain player that just wants to contribute it ensures they will have the opportunity or else they will be compensated.

For Tomlinson, who's reaching the end of his storied career it's not only about winning a championship but also contributing on a championship team. A reverse incentive would be a way to gauge how much the Vikings think he is able to contribute.

I know it'll never happen but I do think it's an interesting idea for a player who cares much more about his legacy than money.

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