By next Wednesday the Chiefs (and all of us) will have an idea of Larry Johnson's future in Kansas City. If the events following next Wednesday's grievance hearing transpire so that Johnson stays in Kansas City, then the Chiefs should do what the San Diego Chargers will likely do with LaDainian Tomlinson.
Run him into the ground (so to speak).
"(Tomlinson) had 290 carries last season. I'd expect him to have more. I'd expect him to be in the 320s. That's what he does. He can handle it, and he'll be prepared to handle it."
The Chargers didn't come right out and say it, but I suspect they're trying to get whatever's left out of Tomlinson. After a down year by his standards (1,110 yards, 11 TDs), Tomlinson probably doesn't have much left in the tank. By the start of the 2009 season he'll be on what history says is the wrong side of 30 for a NFL running back.
So by increasing Tomlinson's carries instead of giving a heavier load to newly extended Darren Sproles, the Chargers probably aren't preparing for several more years of LT. If he's already begun his decline, then the team wants to get one last great season out of him before it's too late.
The Chiefs should do the same with Larry Johnson if they choose to keep him. Even with a bounce back season, I don't see LJ being in Kansas City at the onset of the 2010 season.
So why not run him into the ground and extend the lives of our other running backs like Jamaal Charles and Kolby Smith?