LT Charges into history
Tomlinson retires with 13,684 rushing yards and 162 touchdowns
Last Updated: June 20, 2012 9:39pm
LaDainian Tomlinson: heading for the Hall of Fame
Future Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson has retired from the NFL after returning to San Diego and ending his career as a Charger.
The 32-year-old Tomlinson, the NFL's fifth-leading rusher, re-signed with the Chargers on a one-day contract to announce his retirement.
Tomlinson played his first nine seasons in San Diego and was named league MVP in 2006 when he set the single-season record with 31 touchdowns.
The last two years saw Tomlinson play with the New York Jets, helping them reach the AFC Championship game in the 2010 season.
"I always felt like I was a Charger," said Tomlinson. "The guys, my teammates, the bond we built and the battles (we fought) together were special. I always felt in my heart that I was a Charger, so thanks to the Chargers organization and Dean Spanos and his family.
"I've had five months to actually contemplate and think about retiring. I knew at the end of the season last year that it may be a possibility that I will walk away from the game, and it wasn't because I didn't want to play anymore. That wasn't the reason.
"It was simply time to move on, and that's how I look at it. I did have opportunities to continue to play football. But at the end of the day, it's time for me to leave the game. I'm happy with where I am today. I have no regrets at all."
The Chargers often had a team capable of winning a Super Bowl during Tomlinson's spell, but the big game always eluded him, although he insists that has not soured his career.
"I am OK (with never winning a Super Bowl) because I realize everybody can't win a championship. But there were championship days for us we celebrated in the locker room.
"The touchdown record that day I scored the 31st touchdown, the linemen lifted me up and the whole team celebrated. They were championship days, for not only myself but my teammates and my family as well. So I'm ok with never winning a Super Bowl championship (because) I know we've got many memories we can call championship days."
He retires with 13,684 rushing yards and 162 total touchdowns, the third-most in the NFL, and is certain to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.