Vikings wine and dine Tomlinson at Minneapolis's finest restaurant

Wednesday night, future Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson arrived in Minneapolis to meet with Minnesota Vikings officials.  After spending his first nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers, the free agent has hit the open market for the first time in his career.

LT was released in February following the least productive season of his career. The NFL's eighth all-time leading rusher has certainly lost a step, but that does not mean that other teams are not interested in Tomlinson as a backup.

The first phase of the Vikings' recruiting efforts involved a trip to legendary Manny's Steakhouse in Downtown Minneapolis.  This spot is always a sure bet to encounter local Minnesota athletes, including Twins superstar Joe Mauer

Visiting teams' players are also frequent diners when in town to face the Minnesota squads.  

The Vikings are well known for including Manny's in their free agent sales pitch. Last offseason, team officials entertained wide receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh during his visit.  Housh would later sign with the Seahawks.  

After spending many years in the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, Manny's has relocated to the W Minneapolis - Foshay. Similar to St. Elmo Steak House in Indianapolis, Manny's is the undisputed number one venue to see an athlete in this other Midwestern city.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Tomlinson indulged in a plate of pan-roasted chicken while at Manny's.   

The Vikings spent Wednesday night and Thursday talking to LT about the possibility of replacing back up running back Chester Taylor, who just left for the Chicago Bears. LT would be playing behind fellow Texan Adrian Peterson on the depth chart.

Late Thursday, Tomlinson left Vikings Headquarters and headed to New Jersey, where he will meet with New York Jets' officials on Friday.  He is expected to make a decision over the next few days, with possible stops in Philadelphia and New Orleans still potentially in the offing.


Manny's Steakhouse

825 Marquette Ave., Downtown Minneapolis


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