Ladainian Tomlinson to Retire

June 17, 2012 | Derek Halford

One of the best running backs in NFL history is hanging up his cleats. Tomlinson is officially retiring as a Charger.

He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers fifth overall in the 2001 NFL Draft and spent nine seasons with them before moving to the Jets as a free agent. L. T., has been selected to five Pro Bowls and has been an All-Pro six times. Tomlinson won two rushing titles, in 2006 and 2007. During the 2006 NFL season, he set several records and received awards including the NFL’s Most Valuable Player Award and Offensive Player of the Year Award.

He achieved immediate success in the NFL, rushing for over 1,200 yards and making over 50 receptions in each of his first seven seasons. He has also proven to be effective as a passer. He completed eight career passes, seven of them for touchdowns and a career passer rating of 154.4.  In 2003, he became the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards and record 100 receptions in the same season. He also reached his 50th career touchdown in his 4th season. Tomlinson also tied Lenny Moore’s all-time record for consecutive games scoring a TD.

In the 2006 season, he set NFL records by scoring 14 touchdowns in a span of 4 games, 16 touchdowns in span of 5 games, and 19 touchdowns in a span of 6 games. He became the fastest player ever to score 100 touchdowns.

In the 2008 season, L.T. had some injuries and did not play as well as he did in previous seasons. Tomlinson and the Chargers came to an agreement on March 10, 2009 to restructure his three-year contract so that he may remain a Charger. Tomlinson suffered an ankle injury on opening day of the 2009 season against Oakland and missed the next two games. The 2009 season was his worst yet as he only rushed for 730 yards with a 3.3 yards per carry.

The Chargers released Tomlinson on February 22, 2010. Tomlinson signed a two-year, $5.2 million contract with the New York Jets on March 14, 2010. Tomlinson was a nice complementary back for the Jets in both seasons.

L.T. will finish his career ranked 5th in career all time rushing yards. He will also rank 2nd only behind Emmitt Smith in career rushing td’s. He will go down as one of the best running backs to play the game and will get inducted into the Hall of Fame his first ballot.