LaDainian Tomlinson to Retire as a Charger

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bill-swift - June 18, 2012

LaDainian Tomlinson, otherwise known as LT, has decided it is time to take it to the house—like he did so many times during his 11-year career—and stay. The former NFL MVP is retiring from the game of football at the tender age of 32 (he turns 33 on Saturday, June 23).

After an award winning career with the TCU Horned Frogs the versatile running back was taken by the San Diego Chargers with the fifth pick of the 2001 NFL Draft. Tomlinson went on to rush for over 1100 yards and catch at least 50 balls in each of his first eight seasons.

An ankle injury to open the 2009 season was the beginning of the end in San Diego; after career lows in carries and yards he was cut at the end of the season. The New York Jets saw some value in the veteran running back and picked him up prior to the 2010 season.

Few running backs have been as exciting and productive as Tomlinson was throughout his career:

  • No player scored 150 touchdowns as quickly as he did (he had 153 by time he left the Chargers).
  • He's the only player besides the great Walter Payton to record over 13,000 yards on the ground along with another 4,000 via receptions.
  • NFL MVP in 2006 after rushing for more than 1800 yards (and winning the rushing title), catching 56 passes for 508 yards, and scoring 31 TDs (28 on the ground; both single season records).

The list of accomplishments could go on and on for LT (like being a 5X Pro Bowl player—and one that actually played). The bottom line is this—LT was one of the best running backs to play the game. He'll retire as one of six players to gain over 18,000 yards from scrimmage (18,456) and fifth on the all-time rushing list (13,684).

Thanks for playing LT. It's been great watching you.

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