After a storied 11 year career(feels like longer), that included a 2006 MVP season with a NFL record 31 touchdowns, 13,684 yards, and 145 rushing TD’s(both second all time), LaDainian Tomlinson has announced his retirement from the NFL. The back spent most of his career with the San Diego Chargers, before playing a pair of seasons with the New York Jets. Tomlinson resigned with San Diego so that he could retire as a Charger.
Tomlinson revolutionized the position. He was the greatest running back of the 2000′s, and he was the first running back who posed a legitimate receiving threat. Obviously, backs before him caught some occasional screen passes, but Tomlinson regularly registered over 50 catches a season in his time on the west coast.
Tomlinson is a hall of famer. Easily. He finished just over 4,500 yards short of Emmitt Smith’s all time rushing record, a record I think he could have broken had he pulled an Emmitt and continued to play past his prime. But clearly that’s not what LT is about. He felt that he couldn’t play at a high level anymore, so he chose to go out earlier then most. I have to respect that. Especially in this day and age with all these concussion issues. Tomlinson has reguarly appeared as an analyst on various football programs, and certainly has a future behind the booth now.
Below is a video of some of LT’s best highlights. He will be missed. Not only for his incredible athleticism and running, but for the class he handled himself with on and off the field. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him behind the camera. Thanks for the memories LT.