LaDainian Tomlinson Will Reportedly Retire with San Diego Chargers

Zachary D. RymerMLB Lead WriterJune 17, 2012

LaDainian Tomlinson has decided to call it a career after 11 NFL seasons.

"LaDainian Tomlinson...will re-sign with San Diego and immediately announce his retirement from the National Football League at a press conference Monday at Chargers Park.

The announcement will be streamed live on on Monday, June 18 at 11 a.m. (PT). Tomlinson and Chargers President Dean Spanos will speak," according to the Chargers' official website

Tomlinson will announce his decision to retire several months after his New York Jets were eliminated from playoff contention with a 19-17 loss at the Miami Dolphins to end the 2011-2012 season.

This announcement should not come as a surprise. Tomlinson was well aware that the playoff-deciding game against the Dolphins could be his last in the NFL.

"Yes, there is definitely a thought that this could be, because you never know how things shake out," said Tomlinson, per "For me, it just depends on the situation. I've said that before. I would love to keep playing, but if the situation is not right, then I won't. This possibly could be my last game." 

As it turned out, Tomlinson's last game saw him rush for 56 yards on 11 carries. That brought his career total to 13,684 yards, allowing him to surpass former Pittsburgh Steelers great Jerome Bettis for fifth on the NFL's all-time rushing list.

Tomlinson also ends his career second on the list for career rushing touchdowns with 145. He still holds the record for rushing touchdowns (28) and total touchdowns (31) in a single season.

Tomlinson's list of accomplishments doesn't end there. He made five Pro Bowl teams and was voted an NFL All-Pro four times. For his magical 2007 season, he was awarded the MVP award.

About the only thing Tomlinson didn't do in his career is win a Super Bowl. He came close on a couple of occasions, but he never even got to go. In a career that contains very few regrets, failing to win a Super Bowl stands out as a major one.

Still, Tomlinson is leaving the game with absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. The San Diego Chargers were banking on him turning into a star when they drafted him fifth overall in 2001, but even they couldn't have predicted that they were drafting one of the best running backs in NFL history.

It's a shame that Tomlinson isn't going out on top, but he can still walk away with his chin held high. He had a very good run.


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