Star running back LaDainian Tomlinson to retire as Charger
San Diego, CA, United States (AHN Sports) – Running back LaDainian Tomlinson got his wish to retire with the San Diego Chargers where his Hall-of-Fame career began.
Tomlinson, the fifth leading rusher in league history, is set to sign a one-day deal with the team and then announce his retirement from the NFL Monday, the Chargers said in a statement.
The announcement came as no surprise as the 11-year veteran Tomlinson told Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter last month that he was “95 percent” retired.
The Chargers picked Tomlinson fifth overall in the 2001 Draft. He started 141 games over nine seasons for the Chargers, racking up 12,490 rushing yards with 138 touchdowns, aside from 530 receptions for 3,955 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Tomlinson led the league in rushing in 2006 (1,815 yards) and 2007 (1,474 yards) and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2006 with the Chargers.
A five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time, first-team All-Pro, Tomlinson is the Chargers’ all-time leader in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, ranks second in scoring (918 points) and is fifth on their all-time receptions list and 10th in receiving yards.
Tomlinson joined the New York Jets as a free agent in 2010. In two seasons with the Jets, Tomlinson gained 1,194 yards and scored seven touchdowns on the ground, including a team-high 914 yards in 2010. He also had 94 receptions for 817 yards and two touchdowns.
With a total of 13,684 rushing yards, Tomlinson currently ranks fifth on the all-time list, behind Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and Curtis Martin. He is expected to join them in Canton, Ohio.
“I think it’s very exciting for him to retire as a Charger,” longtime Chargers fan Derek Hopster told NFL Network. “Mixed emotions right there because the NFL being a business, he got caught up in the business side of it when he left San Diego.”
“Obviously, he’s going to be in the Chargers Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor. He deserves to be there, too. I wish him the best. Glad he’s retiring as a Charger like he should be,” he added.