LaDainian Tomlinson retires, says he ‘always felt like a Charger’

LaDainian Tomlinson played on the Chargers from 2001-2009.

The career of former Chargers and Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson came to an end on Monday with the running back hanging up the cleats on 11 storied seasons in the NFL. Tomlinson signed a one-day contract with San Diego so he could retire with the Chargers.
 
Arguably the best running back of his generation, Tomlinson twice led the NFL in rushing and was a Pro Bowl selection five times. He was named to the first team of the NFL’s “All-Decade” team for the 2000s. When Tomlinson left San Diego two years ago to join the Jets, he said that the topic of him coming back and retiring a Charger was initially broached.
 
“Without question, I said ‘Yes, because I always felt like I was a Charger,” Tomlinson said. “It was special and I always felt in my heart that I was a Charger.”
 
Tomlinson came to the Jets seeking his first ever Super Bowl ring with a team that had made the AFC Championship game a season before. In 2010, Tomlinson played in 15 regular season games for the Jets, only missing the meaningless regular season finale against Buffalo while rushing for 914 yards and six touchdowns. The Jets again returned to the AFC Championship game that year, but they followed the success of that campaign with an 8-8 record in 2011. Tomlinson rushed for a career-low 280 yards in 14 games last season.
 
He referred to his New York experience as “two great years in New York, chasing the dream.”
 
In a statement released by the team, Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum praised Tomlinson’s commitment to the team.

“During my time around LaDainian, he never took one day for granted when it came to any aspect of his performance. His commitment drew his teammates to him and elevated everyone that came in contact with him. On the field, he was a dynamic, versatile player who was everything you could ask for in a running back.” Tannenbaum said.

“He could significantly affect the outcome of a game as a ball carrier, but also was superior as a receiver and in pass protection. He had a positive impact on our organization and I am grateful for his time with the New York Jets.”

It was clear after the NFL Draft in April that the Jets weren’t bringing Tomlinson back, especially after using a sixth-round pick on Baylor running back Terrance Ganaway. But the writing was on the green and white wall for Tomlinson long before that.
 
Shortly after the season ended, Tomlinson was critical of the Jets in a January appearance on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.” He called Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez “a bit pampered,” talked openly about the team’s divided locker room and said that head coach Rex Ryan’s constant talking-up of his team to the media put unwarranted pressure on the Jets.

“Every week if you’re calling out a team on certain things, I think it puts a little extra on your team,” Tomlinson said on Showtime. “Guys really want to go out there and say ‘Let’s shut this guy up. Let’s shut the Jets up.’”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for all your offseason news.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn girl's death ruled a homicide

The New York City Medical Examiner has ruled the death of a Brooklyn toddler a homicide. Jeida Torres, 3, was found bruised and unresponsive Saturday…

Local

New York City continues to prepare for Ebola…

New York City continues to prepare for the possibility of Ebola. There have been numerous scares, but no confirmed cases. Representatives from about 150 unions…

Local

NYPD nabs alleged serial bank robber

  The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for multiple Manhattan bank robberies this month. Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they…

National

A look into the minds of Tsarnaev's fan…

While thousands of supporters insist their loyalty is due to a steadfast belief that Dzhokhar "Jahar" Tsarnaev's is innocent, others, mainly young women, come dangerously close to an unhealthy infatuation…

Entertainment

We the Economy: Morgan Spurlock's new crusade

If Morgan Spurlock gets his way, you won't be able to avoid We the Economy, the series of 20 shorts films curated by the "Super…

Arts

3 Parody plays lampoon your childhood, adulthood and…

Whether you loved the source material or you're going in blind, these parody plays have something for every audience member. We rate three of NYC's hottest satirical shows.

Gossip

Who has more power: Harry Styles or Amal…

Amal Clooney comes in fourth on The Evening Standard's Most Influential Londoners list.

Music

#AskPaul McCartney reveals his love of American pop…

For an Englishman, Paul McCartney's pop culture tastes would fit right in stateside. The former Beatle (@PaulMcCartney) revealed that he has a real thing for…

NFL

Breno Giacomini: Media blowing up Golden Tate-Percy Harvin…

According to Breno Giacomini, the fight between Golden Tate and Percy Harvin during Super Bowl week was over by the time the lineman turned around.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

Education

Is a 'gap year' after high school for…

It’s a familiar script that millions of students follow each year: Graduate high school and then immediately start college. But more and more students are…

Parenting

New news about Kate Middleton's pregnancy

The Palace released a statement about Kate Middleton's pregnancy.

Parenting

Cool book for kids: 'The Princess In Black'

"The Princess In Black" will change the way girls view princesses.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…