The release was expected after Tomlinson finished an injury-inflicted 2009 season with an uncharacteristic 730 yards on 223 carries for an average of 3.3 yards per carry. He told reports on February 4th "I'm not coming back. I've accepted it."
Tomlinson will finish his Chargers career with 12,490 yards, ranking eighth most in NFL history, and 138 rushing touchdowns, ranking second. He rushed to NFL MVP in 2006 after scoring a record 31 touchdowns and 186 points along with 1,815 rushing yards.
"This is a part of the business that I hate, and it's particularly hard when you're dealing with someone I consider a friend," Chargers president Dean Spanos said in a statement. "Change involving great players is never easy. I respect L.T. as much or more than any player I've ever known. And no one appreciates his contributions to this organization more than I do. That is why this is such a difficult announcement for me to make."
After his release, the 31-year-old Tomlinson, now an unrestricted free agent, told reporters "It's mixed emotions. I've spent nine years of my life here, pretty much my youth. I gave the organization everything I have. But there is a part I won't miss. The football part is fun. But the business part sucks. I won't miss that."
Coming off the most unproductive season of his career, Tomlinson may have limited options in free agency, but could find a home with a team struggling with depth at running back.