The faces of several NFL Franchises are set to change with some recent roster changes.

For the past decade, the highest profile player for the San Diego Chargers has been LaDainian Tomlinson – who has been considered the best overall player in the NFL in several of those seasons.  Now Tomlinson finds himself without a home following a season where he failed to gain 1,000 yards rushing.  Having amassed 12,490 rushing yards, LT2 is eighth on the all-time rusher’s list, and from what I understand, he doesn’t intend to hang up the spikes just yet.  He reportedly wants to find his way onto a team contending for a Super Bowl ring, which limits his choices.  My guess would be either Minnesota or New England as a likely home, though I wouldn’t rule out New Orleans as a possibility – IF they decide to deal Reggie Bush in an attempt to bolster their Super Bowl winning roster (probably with backups).  Unless he ends up on a team which isn’t going to contend for a playoff spot or benefits from someone else’s injury, Tomlinson is not likely to end up being the starter somewhere next season.

Donovan McNabb is the face of the Philadelphia Eagles, and although I think he’ll probably get traded this off-season, he’s not going anywhere yet.  Philly fans will tell you that a huge part of their birds’ offense over the past decade is the ultra-versatile Bryan Westbrook – who the Eagles cut from their roster early this week.  Although I’d be very happy for Westbrook to replace Clinton Portis as a backup for the Washington Redskins (where he would join his younger brother Byron – a defensive back for the ‘Skins), I’m expecting that Westbrook will retire from the NFL due to injuries and multiple concussions suffered this past season.

Steve Smith might be the most vocal member of the Carolina Panthers, but the relatively young franchise has arguably benefited the most from Julius Peppers, the former North Carolina Tarheels Defensive End who had plenty of Pro Bowl appearances during his tenure for the Carolina NFL franchise… which has now likely come to an end.  It’s possible that Peppers will re-sign with the Panthers in free agency, but Carolina chose not to give him their franchise tag – which would’ve been his second straight year getting the tender.  It’s possible that the gesture to allow Julius to wade into the waters of NFL Free Agency prior to the likely uncapped year will allow him to view Carolina in a positive light.  I still think he’ll end up somewhere else – potentially Atlanta, San Francisco or the Giants.

Others who are likely to leave the franchises with whom they’ve recently become synonymous with?

Clinton Portis, who was already removed from a team coached by Mike Shanahan once in his career (traded from Denver after his sophomore season as Broncos RB), will likely be an ex-Redskin soon.  Although his antics make him the antithesis of a locker-room leader, his string of injuries and a bad concussion this past season create significant worry about how much time he has left in the league, it’s likely his huge salary which will be causing his departure from the team very soon, as the deep pockets of Daniel Snyder and the Redskins will take a hit as they still have guaranteed money left to spend on Portis, but the Salary Cap won’t be affected if he leaves during the uncapped year.  Cincinnati could be an option if Portis decides to keep playing, as Marvin Lewis seems willing to give players with a questionable character history a chance.  Jacksonville should probably give him a look, too.  Given that one of Portis’ strengths was always in the pass-blocking arena, with the concussion sustained last year he won’t be nearly as effective in that role, so he should strongly consider hanging up the spikes.

Another vocal Washington Redskin player who is likely “on the outs” is Antwaan Randle El, whose explosive nature never translated to much more than the ability to create first downs in the passing game.  His punt return skills were highly questionable this past season, and it’s the belief of many that Danny Smith will look like the excellent special teams coach he truly is once Randle El is no longer fielding punts for the team.  Just like Portis, the fact that ridding themselves of Antwaan this year won’t affect the salary cap is a big reason why he won’t be around the Nation’s Capital much longer, unless he’s become a fan of Rocking The Red and plans to see some more Washington Capitals games in his spare time.  Maybe he’ll end up in a city with an Eastern Conference NHL team… though frankly this sentiment doesn’t matter much, as I’ve not seen any evidence that Randle El is a Capitals fan… this is more of a shout out to the Caps more than anything.  I’d guess Detroit, Baltimore, Oakland or San Francisco as likely spots for Randle El.

Thomas Jones, who is owed a $3 million roster bonus if he’s still a Running Back with the New York Jets on March 9th.  The play of Leon Washington and 2009 rookie Shonne Green make this likely, especially given Jones’ age (32, older than LT or Portis).  I would predict that Jones ends up somewhere else as a backup, possibly Detroit or Cleveland, two places which could use a veteran presence.

Michael Vick might not be the face of the Eagles franchise, but it’s likely that he’ll be playing somewhere else next season – regardless of what happens to Donovan McNabb.  Kevin Kolb IS the future at QB for Philly, and the Vick experiment is coming to an end.  There’s no reason to pay him to be a 3rd string QB who occasionally finds himself in the game doing a trick play.  A likely spot for him would be St. Louis or Buffalo.