Brett Favre, Michael Jordan, Cal Ripken Jr. have all retired with hall of fame credentials and have all broken multiple record in their respective sports. With LaDainian Tomlinson calling it quits in the NFL the clock now starts to tick on when he will become another member of the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. The Rosebud, TX native and 5-time Pro Bowler announced his retirement Monday June 18th; as he signed a one day contract with his former team the San Diego Chargers so that he could retire as a charger. To say that LT had a good career would be a vastly low understatement; he put up some remarkable numbers in his 11 year career that only the great Hall of Fame running backs could rival.
Ever since his college days at Texas Christian University (TCU) he has displayed so much raw talent that you knew he would be a special player in the NFL. When he left TCU he was a for sure first round draft pick and the San Diego Chargers thought the same as they selected him 5th overall in the 2001 NFL draft, which included number one overall pick Michael Vick. Throughout his nine years with the chargers he brought the team back to contenders in the AFC West, while putting up 1,000 yard seasons eight years in a row. His best season of his career has to be what he accomplished on the field in 2006 when he rushed for 1,815 yards and NFL single-season record 31 touchdowns, 28 being rushing while gaining 113 yards a game along with claiming the league MVP. He would go on to have two more seasons of back to back 1,000 yards rushing, including a trip to the 2008 AFC championship game against New England. After the loss to New England and suffering a bad injury his production went down dramatically as he couldn’t break the 1,000 yard mark again.
In his last season with the chargers in 2009 he recorded his lowest rushing season with the team putting up 730 yards, after that season the team figured it would be best to part ways with the less productive Tomlinson. He would not stay a free agent for long though as he would get picked up by the New York Jets in 2010, he had a mediocre year compared to his seasons in San Diego as he just couldn’t quite get going. Tomlinson would only get six rushing touchdowns while gaining close to 1,000 yards on the ground. He would have his worst season of his career in 2011 with the Jets in which he only scored one touchdown and rushed for 240 yards.
After the 2011 season Tomlinson decided to hang up the cleats and pads and leave the game.
“It wasn’t because I didn’t want to play anymore. It was simply time to move on,” Tomlinson said in a statement.
He leaves the game with a total of 13,654 yards ranking him fifth on the all-time list, while racking up 162 total touchdowns only Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith have scored more. He ranks first in the San Diego Chargers franchise rushing yards, and first in franchise rushing touchdowns according to bleacher report.
“I was part of greatness, it was awesome to watch him, I truly had the best seat in the house,” Former offensive linemen Kris Dielman said in a statement.
One thing is for certain Tomlinson had a lot of fans that will miss his flashy plays and love for the game, so here is to seeing Tomlinson face in NFL hall of fame someday.
LaDanian Tomlinson Retires from NFL
LaDainian Tomlinson Retirement Tribute
LaDainian Tomlinson Retires as San Diego Charger
Ladainian Tomlinson gets emotional.
An emotional LaDainian Tomlinson talks about his release from the Chargers after 9 seasons.
LaDainian Tomlinson Inside the NFL Interview
Comment from YouTube: This was an excellent interview. I think that LT is a first ballot hall of famer and should probably retire with his health and join one of these football panels. He’s excellent and his resume speaks for himself.