San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - The NFL's fifth all-time leading rusher
LaDainian Tomlinson announced his retirement in a press conference on Monday.
The San Diego Chargers drafted Tomlinson with the fifth overall selection of
the 2001 draft and he spent nine years with the franchise, earning five trips
to the Pro Bowl.
Tomlinson, who owns or shares 28 Chargers records, was the NFL MVP in 2006
when he rushed for a career-best 1,815 yards and 28 touchdowns. His 31 total
TDs that year still stands as a league record.
He was released by San Diego in 2010 and played the last two seasons with the
New York Jets.
"He was the very heart and soul of this organization," Chargers chairman of
the board and president Dean Spanos said. "Whenever I watched him play, I
always expected to see something special."
After a video montage of his accomplishments as a Charger, Tomlinson signed a
one-day contract with San Diego to officially retire with the team.
"I always felt in my heart that I was a Charger," said Tomlinson.
In 170 career games with San Diego and New York, Tomlinson amassed
13,684 yards on 3,174 carries.
His 145 rushing touchdowns rank him second all-time behind Emmitt Smith.
He was also a threat in the passing game, adding 4,772 yards and 17 scores on
624 career receptions.
"It's been a long journey to say the least," Tomlinson said. "I want to thank
all of my teammates, obviously my quarterbacks ... guys who knew how to play
the game passionately about winning."
The future Hall of Famer silenced any thought of a comeback, stating his
retirement "wasn't because I didn't want to play anymore. It was simply time
to move on."
He later added, "I'm excited to now be a fan. I don't anticipate coming back."
The Sports Network