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There won’t be a LaDainian Tomlinson return to San Diego

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins Getty Images

With Mike Tolbert on his way to Carolina, there’s an opening in the backfield behind Ryan Mathews with the Chargers.

A former member of the team is looking for work in just such a role, but it doesn’t look like there will be a reunion between LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers. Tomlinson, who played for the Jets the last two seasons, wants to play another year and is open to playing in San Diego, but general manager A.J. Smith slammed the door on the notion.

“No. We have moved on years ago,” Smith said. “We wish him the very best in his search for the team he feels is the best fit for him. We are looking at four backs right now but we may slow down that search a little bit. I know Rex Ryan has said some great things about LT the last couple years. I would think he would bring him back.”

Given the long history of sniping between Smith and Tomlinson, it’s not surprising in the least to hear that there won’t be a last hurrah for Tomlinson in the place where he became a star running back. Even without past bad blood, there wouldn’t be anything surprising about this decision. There are plenty of backs available in free agency and Tomlinson didn’t have much impact for the Jets in 2011. That’s why there’s not much chance he’ll be back there next season, regardless of Smith’s interpretation of what Ryan’s said about Tomlinson.

Smith also ruled out a return from former Charger special teams ace Kassim Osgood. Osgood left as a free agent in 2010 for a chance at playing more on offense with the Jaguars, something that didn’t quite work out for him, and is a free agent again this offseason.

Charlie Whitehurst can go home again. Not so much for other former Chargers.

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31 Responses to “There won’t be a LaDainian Tomlinson return to San Diego”
  1. dkampling says: Mar 20, 2012 9:07 AM

    Maybe the Seahawks will take him…

  2. rooneyruleblues says: Mar 20, 2012 9:15 AM

    Why would they want him back. He threw his QB under the bus and was a locker room cancer his last few years in SD. Go back to the Jets, or start looking to get a tattoo of your couch on your calf this time.

  3. sj39 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:25 AM

    Is A.J. Smith, in some ways worse than Matt Millen?

  4. icanspeel says: Mar 20, 2012 9:28 AM

    LT will always be a Chargers great, but for once I actually agree with AJ Smith. LT is way past his prime and there are too many better options.

  5. fin72 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:44 AM

    AJ Smith is such a miserable azzhole. If you break down his statement word for word it is typical AJ in that it’s very insulting and condecending.

  6. seahawksfan25 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:47 AM

    Seattle could use him to back up Beast mode

  7. mightyleemoon says: Mar 20, 2012 9:49 AM

    San Diego will not see the trophy until that clown (AJ) is shipped out of town. He’s too emotional to make good decisions for that organization.

  8. andyreidisfat says: Mar 20, 2012 9:52 AM

    To me this is a no brainer. The eagles should sign lt as he fits perfectly

  9. christopher525 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:55 AM

    Maybe AJ needs to realize, not many people WANT to come back and work in San Diego with him there. He may be the cancer. He has a very high opinion og himself, especially considering his mediocrity.

  10. kgredin1 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:56 AM

    Smith is a complete Jerk. That said, LT needs to walk away. Man, the shelf life of an NFL back is short.

  11. kylos13 says: Mar 20, 2012 9:56 AM

    Bring back Kassim and play him at safety

  12. pftcensorssuck says: Mar 20, 2012 9:58 AM

    “No. We have moved on years ago,” Smith said. “We wish him the very best in his search for the team he feels is the best fit for him. We are looking at four backs right now but we may slow down that search a little bit. I know Rex Ryan has said some great things about LT the last couple years. I would think he would bring him back.”

    BOOOOOOOOM !!!!!!!!!!

    How’d THAT taste, “Classy Guy”?

  13. mrslay1 says: Mar 20, 2012 10:07 AM

    The Eagles would be a good fit for him but I would hate to see a class act like LT end his career at a dump hole like philly.

  14. bigmig79 says: Mar 20, 2012 10:18 AM

    Gotta appreciate AJ’s candor, no BS and straight to the point.

  15. pisano says: Mar 20, 2012 10:25 AM

    Where ever he goes, I wish he could bring Sanchez with him, as neither of them did much good for the Jets last year…. oh, I forget the brilliant Jets gave Sanchez a two year extension on top of his final two years. With moves like that it’s no wonder the Jets are losers.

  16. tqaztec says: Mar 20, 2012 10:28 AM

    It sucks getting old. Right LT?

  17. elmaxoh says: Mar 20, 2012 10:56 AM

    LT will be a great backup for the Eagles.

  18. r8rsfan says: Mar 20, 2012 10:58 AM

    But who will give all those motivational speeches just before kickoff? Laughed out loud every time they showed it on TV. “This is our house” is so tired and played out.

  19. joetoronto says: Mar 20, 2012 10:59 AM

    They’re both classless jerks, Tomlinson and Smith.

  20. VegasKJ says: Mar 20, 2012 11:01 AM

    The Chargers are trying to be the Moneyball of the NFL, except there’s no Jonah Hill character to provide the brains for the operation.

  21. dougydougdoug says: Mar 20, 2012 11:04 AM

    Forget the artist formally known as LT. What no one is talking about, however, is WHY AJ was willing to let Tolbert go? How much was the guy asking for, that they didn’t want him for his versatility and goal-line TD scoring?

  22. dvdman123 says: Mar 20, 2012 11:12 AM

    AJ Smith and Matt Millen…..fraternal twins sepearated at birth.

  23. phuqewe says: Mar 20, 2012 11:25 AM

    LT should be allowed to come back for one game and retire as a Charger. Would be the right thing to do for him, the organization and the fans. AJ is a douche, so it probably wouldn’t happen, but I’d love to see it.

  24. siaaa says: Mar 20, 2012 11:46 AM

    if its a decision that AJ and the Charger organization feels strongly about, then its probably the wrong one. LT can still be a great 3rd down back. great hands, solid blocker and will get yards when needed. maybe he’ll go to denver.

  25. mistrezzrachael says: Mar 20, 2012 11:48 AM

    Do not see him playing in NFL next season.

    First off, he personally is a phony…and locker room cancer. Secondly, he cannot play anymore.

    BUT, most importantly…..given his career of disappearing in playoffs..noone could count on him in his best days. Can never forget Rivers playing AFC champ in 2007 w/a knee needing operation…and Ladanian never took his parka off…w/a Boo-Boo that didn;t need surgery.

    The above is all you need to know about that phony.

  26. mullman7675 says: Mar 20, 2012 11:58 AM

    I hope AJ Smith is always the GM of the chargers. The charger slide continues…

  27. jman667 says: Mar 20, 2012 12:08 PM

    LT’s best days are long behind him. I’d like to see AJ and LT just play nice, let him come back for a day, and retire a Charger. This “last hoorah” needs to end before he gets hurt out there. His skills aren’t deteriorating, they are deteriorated.

  28. dasmol says: Mar 20, 2012 12:22 PM

    Come back when you’re ready to retire a Charger, LT.

    As for Kassim, hell yeah Smith should pick him up for ST play.

  29. dv5454 says: Mar 20, 2012 12:26 PM

    Tomlinson, when right, was one of the best runners I’ve ever seen play. For a 3 year stretch, the guy was seemingly scoring 3 or 4 touchdowns a game, catching the ball out of the backfield with ease, and running over/past defenders at will.

    I was born in 85 so I wasn’t around for Jim Brown and don’t remember Payton. I will always obviously defer to older generations in those talks, and believe they are as great as advertised.

    In my lifetime, the best runners I’ve ever seen are Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, and LaDainian Tomlinson.

  30. dougydougdoug says: Mar 20, 2012 12:34 PM

    Kassim was just amazing. And contrary to what most people think, he didn’t leave the Chargers for more money. He left because he very much wanted to play on offense – but unfortunately wasn’t as good in that role. The Chargers had actually offered him more money than the Jags to stay and continue with special teams.

  31. chargerlady17 says: Mar 20, 2012 8:02 PM

    LT is still one of the best don’t hate AJ Smith is a first class azzhole and all around idiot the chargers will never go anywhere with him fire his dumb azz he is the reason we have lost so many good players anyone who likes him can go you know where a true charger does not and if you like him you are not a true fan

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