LaDainian Tomlinson will sign one-day contract to retire as a Charger

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Admit it, you thought there was no way LaDainian Tomlinson would ever sign another contract with the Chargers as long as A.J. Smith was the team’s General Manager.

There was more than a little bit of acrimony when the best running back in franchise history left the team after the 2009 season and nothing much seemed to have changed this offseason when Tomlinson looked to continue his career after a two-year stint with the Jets. Check to see if any pigs are gliding by your window, though, because Tomlinson’s going to sign a contract with the Chargers.

He won’t be playing, however. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported and the team has confirmed that Tomlinson is signing a one-day contract to retire as a member of the team.

The move is surprising only because Tomlinson has been adamant about his intention to play this season. There’s been no sign of interest around the league in signing him after a lackluster 2011 season in New York that featured little of the spark that made Tomlinson one of the most productive running backs in the history of the game. He could have probably hung out in hopes of landing a job if injury struck once camps open, but he turns 33 next week and it has not been a strong market for older running backs.

It is nice that the bad blood that accompanied Tomlinson’s final days in San Diego won’t get in the way of this brief reconciliation. Tomlinson’s Chargers career deserves to be celebrated and his on-field accomplishments matter significantly more than the sniping between him and Smith.

Tomlinson ranks fifth all-time in rushing yards, second in rushing touchdowns and he set the single-season rushing touchown record with 28 of them in 2006. He also threw seven touchdown passes and had a 100-catch season for good measure. For those and many other reasons, Tomlinson will one day have a bust celebrating his career in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

85 responses to “LaDainian Tomlinson will sign one-day contract to retire as a Charger

  1. He was certainly a beast in his prime, but fell off a cliff after his record breaking year for TD’s. Nice move by SD though to let him go out like this as he never really looked right in a Jets uniform.

  2. Congrats LT should have never left san diego, those couple of years with the jets were full of mediocrety

  3. Going to miss LT. Truly one of the best players of my generation. It was a pleasure watching him dominate on a weekly basis. In an age where players are consistently getting into trouble with the law and showing an overall lack of respect for the game, its great to have someone like LT to look up to. A true class act. Can’t wait to see him in the announcing booth.

  4. Austskate,

    Announcing booth?! Anytime he’s been in interviews, he has shown NO personality.

  5. Class act?? You don’t remember the way he acted in several of the Chargers epic meltdowns in the playoffs. Terrell Davis was a better back (stats), teammate (nobody ever accused LT of this), and Champion than LT. Sorry, just not a fan of his “me first” attitude.

  6. Just like worthless stock certificates NFL teams should sell $1,000 contracts for the right to retire as a member of that team.

    You pay $1,000 and you officially retire as say a Pittsburgh Steeler.

    You can retire whether you’re 10-years-old or 90 if you want to, after all it is just meaningless made up crap, but you can’t tell me that hundreds of thousands of NFL fans wouldn’t do this.

  7. Nobody benefited from the RAIDERS struggling for so many years than Tomlinson. He put up silly numbers against the Silver and Black.

    It’s a shame that Smith couldn’t recognize his value to the franchise, the team and the community. Not surprising since he also ran Harrison, Seau, Sproles, Tolbert and Turner out of town as well. I mean, Vincent Jackson would rather play with tampa bay than stay in san diego.

    Great career Tomlinson, job well done. Sorry it had to be for the chargers.

  8. My fav LT memory is a toss up between him crying about the PATS doing the Shawn Merriman dance, and him crying on the bench with his helmet on. Fitting that he ended his career with the Jets.

    All in all he was a great back so congrats on that.

  9. congrats to LT for a great career…not all great players received a super bowl ring…no need to feel bad about it…ask dan marino, great football career with no championship ring…See ya in the booth LT, thanks for memories!

  10. Well, good bye to my favorite Running Back ( and the best one ) of the last decade. Enjoy retirement LT2 amazing, classy football player. Thanks for sticking with a rebuilding team for eight years, and turning them into a force to be reckoned with. Just sad that the best football players have to end their career like this. Just glad A.J. Smith gave him some of the respect LT2 deserves, because of what he did for that franchise. Best of Luck to you in realm of the espn.

  11. There are few Oakland opponents for which I have more respect. A true Raider killer who could do it all. Hated having to watch him play my Raiders, but he did it so well.

  12. LT will be one of the longest record holders in the NFL one day since the days of a stud back are essentially over and no one will ever touch his 28 rushing tds..

  13. No Rings.

    LT was never good when it mattered.

    His Changers teammates were happy when he left because LT is/was a bad teammate.

    Julian Eldelman ended LT’s career with a crushing hit on Sunday Night Football.

  14. The guy quit on his team in the AFC title game then became bitter when Rivers became the center of attention for the Chargers then went to the J E T S and still cried like a bitch. He is a HOF running back for what he did in his early years as a Charger, It is too bad his last 4 years weren’t HOF worthy.

  15. I wonder if he’s a first ballot HOFer. Of the recent retirees only him and Bettis are actually among the very top in yards, but the Bus wasn’t a first ballot so it’s tough to say with much conviction that LT will be.

  16. Must suck being a Charger fan knowing that the coach and GM get off the hook every off season. 3-3 in the playoffs, and has been 2 full seasons since they have been back. When I think of how well the analysts always pick this team to do, and then see them always under-perform, I find it stupid a front office and coaching change hasn’t been made.

  17. There was only one LT….and he wore #56 for the Giants…..

    LaDainian Tomlinson was a great RB…but he will be remebered for his wheels breaking down come playoff time

  18. Not sure why he is doing this with a team whose GM picarded all over him and his past teammates threw him under the bus. Also, the GM threw away any chance of him winning a championship when they traded away Brees. I would still be bitter if I was LT

  19. LaDanian was a good back with longevity.

    Certainly not a first ballot guy, and not an elite talent on par with a TD, or Priest, he played much longer, and has better overall stats.

    His biggest problem was his inferiority complex, feeling the need to tell people just how classy he was. He was the opposite, and lacked enough heart.

  20. When they put his bronze bust in the Hall of Fame it should be covered by his Darth Vader pouting helmut.

  21. He was all world with the Chargers, but was just so – so with the Jets, that’s what happens to a back when he loses a step and can’t get through the line quick enough. Classy move from the Chargers, and farewell to LT, the man had a lot of heart.

  22. Over-rated! He made his career against the Raiders who at the time had the worst run defense probably in league history. Take away what he did against the Raiders twice a season and his numbers won’t look as good. Crumbled in the clutch more than once when his team needed him the most. Hate all you want, you know it’s true.

  23. Lots of LT haters on here judging by the thumbs up/down. Can’t deny the guy was an all-time great and 1st ballot HOFer. Go ahead and give me a thumbs down too. Doesn’t change the truth. The numbers don’t lie.

  24. As a Bronco fan, I saw a lot of LT, and I remember him coming out of TCU a beast! WoW at the memories that come back when you think of an era!

  25. congrats to LT for having one of the most prolific careers as a running back. tough to do in the league but the man prevailed quite a bit throughout his career, very happy to see him retire as a charger. had his best days with them and believe he’ll be seeing the hall of fame one day.

  26. Lorenzo Neal’s name better show in in big bold letters all over that one-day contract.

  27. Maybe NOT being a first round HOF’er is what makes you one… especially with the current voting group. They won’t let Chris Carter, Charles Haley or Bill Parcells in, but if you played right guard for three seasons in the AFL you’re good to go. The voters have a bunch of agendas mostly concerning reverence or old age and passing judgment on player attitudes…

  28. Damn there are a ton of LT haters on here. Yes too often he disappeared in the post season. But you can’t deny that he is a 1st ballot hall of famer. He is 3rd all time with touchdowns scored, behind only Jerry Rice and Emmit Smith. One could make a strong argument that LT is among the top 5 rbs of all time.

  29. L.T always scared me on Sundays. He was a great back and fun to watch. I don’t like the hate he’s getting, he was the most feared back in the league for years, and tormented defenders. He broke records and was fun to watch. Have a good life after retirement LT

    Sincerely, A Broncos fan

  30. I will always remember him standing on the sidelines in the 2007 AFC Championship Game while his QB Philip Rivers played the game w/ a bum knee.

  31. Never seen so much unwarrented hate against a single player. Especially over a comment he made about belicheat. Especially being right.
    Also a lot of people forgot Rivers AND LT tore up their knee against the colts. Bad enough he needed surgery. Bad enough where he was never the same player, yet people still say he should have played. Bunch of haters on here!

  32. craigmaitland says:
    Jun 17, 2012 12:01 PM
    Can we put a stop to the one day contacts to retire as a such and such. You’re retiring as a Jet. Jerry Rice retired as a Seahawk etc.

    Exactly… In two months no one but LT2 will remember he “retired” as a Charger. Just like every one today knows that Rice and Montanta did not end their careers as 49ers, not OJ as a Bill, and Emmit ended it as a Cardinal.

    Instead they sign meaningless one day contracts and reporters feed the childihness of it all by reporting it as something that matters.

    When he goes into the HOF they will speak of his great career in SD, and his lackluster years as a Jet. No one will say, “but ah yes, he retired as a Charger, isn’t that marvelous!”

  33. slickster35 says:
    Jun 17, 2012 12:32 PM
    LaDanian was a good back with longevity.

    Certainly not a first ballot guy, and not an elite talent on par with a TD, or Priest, he played much longer, and has better overall stats.

    His biggest problem was his inferiority complex, feeling the need to tell people just how classy he was. He was the opposite, and lacked enough heart.

    You are a clown, you know that right lol. LT not first ballot, some “football fans” amuse me. Then again judging from your post u may be a KC fan, not much going on down there.

  34. ripseau says: Jun 17, 2012 5:43 PM

    Never seen so much unwarrented hate against a single player. Especially over a comment he made about belicheat. Especially being right.
    Also a lot of people forgot Rivers AND LT tore up their knee against the colts. Bad enough he needed surgery. Bad enough where he was never the same player, yet people still say he should have played. Bunch of haters on here!
    ===================

    You bemoan haters but then go on to ‘hate on’ Bill Belichick. Hypocritical much?

    LdT is just getting a warm goodbye equal to the his character. He’s a very classy person, if you hadn’t heard.

    I honestly don’t know if he will be a first ballot HOF. He will make it, but with the way the RB position is being devalued and the log jam of worth candidates it may take more than one attempt for LdT. There is no shame in that.

  35. Patriotsdefense-
    I honestly dont think belicheck cheated as bad as it was made out to b. The mid field celebration the pats performed that game was baffling tho. Was at the game and saw wilfork and banta-cain (others too, just didnt see who) doing merrimans sack dance followed by a wwf “suck it” sign and wilfork pretending to piss on the charger logo. Remind u that this was at the end of the game being performed by the most successful team of the decade. And we werent division foes or even heavy rivals. It was just a close, highly competative playoff game and they were acting like kids out there. Lt was rightfully pissed and spoke out. PLUS if u remember the immediate reaction was LT W

  36. ..had a good reason to say what he said but as time passed it got flipped on him. As if he was making excuses y they lost. No he was just pissed.
    The playoff game where he sat out was also a painted bad. Was at that game too and was watching him pace the sidelines the entire game. He sat down and cameras caught him and people painted him like he was crying or something. If people remember he messed up his knee pretty bad against the colts but noone even suggested maybe his knee hurts.
    As for him dissappering in playoff gmaes, he did but he only appeared in a handful and other teams really were keying in to stop him. His game winning goal line dive against the titans that same year in the playoffs is all vut forgotten.

  37. @ripseau

    The reason you think that is because you haven’t seen it. Why? Because Goodell destroyed the tapes. I’m sure it wasn’t that bad at all. lol Give me a break.

  38. LT played for the Giants and retired years ago. Now that that’s cleared up, congrats to LdT for a great career and kudos to Dean Spanos for letting LdT retire a Charger.

  39. “Sometimes emotions are what makes a person, & as you guys know, I wear my emotions on my sleeve… & for that I am not sorry.” – LT. Perhaps some of you people will understand, that LT accomplished more than most of our dreams. He is a good person:) & in the words of Walter Payton… To all the people that are going to say what they are going to say… may God be with you also. There will always be haters in the world.

  40. @ Ripseau

    Valiant effort, but the haters don’t get it or don’t care. Nevermind the fact the LT knew his backup, Michael Turner, was 100% and better than LT with a bum knee. The haters are right. LT should’ve insisted he play, because we all know Michael the Burner Turner isn’t good enough to start. Right, haters?

    IMO, LT is one of the greatest RB’s to ever play the game. The level of hate directed against him, only shows how he dominated so many of the haters defenses. And seriously, did someone try to say Priest Holmes was better?

  41. scoops1 says:
    Jun 17, 2012 12:18 PM
    There was only one LT….and he wore #56 for the Giants…..

    LaDainian Tomlinson was a great RB…but he will be remebered for his wheels breaking down come playoff time

    ——————————————–

    At least OUR LT will not be remembered for forcing himself on a minor.

    Get over Giant fans, LaDainian earned his initials with his HOF Career. EARNED!

    #21 is LT!

  42. HOF for sure, but he did act like a baby when things didn’t go his way. if you dont want the other team to celebrate, dont lose to them. the chargers sure never held back when they beat teams.

    also, its one thing to not play if you’re too hurt to be effective, its another to be appear completely isolated and disinterested on the sidelines, especially when your qb is gutting it out on one knee

  43. Damn, NO LOVE for LT? Ya’ll are some bitter ass people. I have empathy for any great player calling it quits because their body can’t do it anymore. Great career, one of the greatest ever. Show some respect DAMN.

  44. Congrats LT2! You had one hell of career. As for all the hate, not really surprising as there’s a sh!tload of douche bags that frequent here.

  45. All these Giants fans are hilarious, yeah only a bankrupt drug addict who pays for sex with a minor deserves to be called LT. I never remember LT calling himself classy he called belicheat and some pats classes for doing merrimans dance, choking themselves and pretending to pee on the chargers logo. The guy who said his stats only are high because he played crappy raider defenses is crazy, in 18 games he gained 2055 yards with 22 tds, take those away and he still has over 11600 career rushing yards with 123 rushing tds, he would still be number 2 in career rushing tds with two more than Marcus Allen im not even including his career catches and rec tds. He tore the meniscus in his knee the week before the afc championship game against the colts he tried to play but couldnt so Michael Turner played instead. He is a first ballot HOFer teams not individuals win championships. Dan Marino and Barry Sanders both dont have rings either and they earned their bust in Canton on the field just like Tomlinson.

  46. Who in their right mind would want to retire as a Jet? That organisation is gutter trash. Over 60 years of failure there and always second fiddle to the Giants. If the jets ever want to relevant they should go to L.A. They will never be the top NFL team in N.Y.

  47. He’s as overrated as they come and anything but a team player.

    Charger fans have a lower set of values and see players like Tomlinson as “great.”

    The problem is, “great” players don’t sit on the bench and pout, while his teammates are leaving everything they have on the field.

    He’s a loser anywhere else, but a hero in San Diego.

  48. Tiki Barber is flabbergasted the Jets haven’t called, to beg him to take LT’s roster spot.

  49. joetoronto says:Jun 18, 2012 5:01 AM

    He’s as overrated as they come and anything but a team player.

    Charger fans have a lower set of values and see players like Tomlinson as “great.”

    The problem is, “great” players don’t sit on the bench and pout, while his teammates are leaving everything they have on the field.

    He’s a loser anywhere else, but a hero in San Diego.

    ——–

    I can see why you would think that considering he beat up on the ultimate losers: your Raiders!
    Standards dont get any lower than yours

  50. scalfor3 says:
    Jun 18, 2012 12:04 AM
    HOF for sure, but he did act like a baby when things didn’t go his way. if you dont want the other team to celebrate, dont lose to them. the chargers sure never held back when they beat teams.
    ______________________________
    YEP. LdT whined about it and he was wrong. And our Deion Branch was wrong to whine about it when the Jets did it to the Pats on the 2010 playoffs. You win? Dance away, home field or not. And the losers need to shut up. They had their chances to do something about it.
    Every Pats fan knows that bad blood between these teams started in 05 when SD handed the Pats their butts in the regular season anyway.

    I dislike Tomlinson intensely but there’s no need to act like he wasn’t one of the best all around RBs of the modern era. He simply was. AND he deserves to be in the HOF, no question. Early in his career, I thought he was the closest thing to Payton I ever saw all around RB wise and I adored Payton as a player.

  51. “You win? Dance away, home field or not.”

    Dance all you want. But try to keep the pissing on the logo stuff to yourselves. That act was beyond dissing the other team. You’d expect that from fans, but not paid professionals that represent the league.

  52. Karma proved the logo dance for what it was. Ellis Hobbs is out of football with a spine like a pretzel. And, he got burnt in the SB (the biggest game of his life) for the winning TD. Say what want, but ‘the curse of Ellis Hobbs’ is alive and well in Beantown. He joined the Patriots 2 months after their last SB win (which, BTW now seems ancient) and they’ve choked every time since then. NE is no dynasty, sorry.

  53. A Raiduh fan talking about a lower set of values. That’s rich. 8 wins and you’re going to the SB! League leaders in penalties, and a grandma on the cheerleader squad. Please tell us more about low standards, Joe.

    Face it, LT is a great. One of the best of all time. And he made an absolute habit of destroying the Toronto Raiders.

  54. so what was it that LT said about the Belichick thats not true??
    that hes a cheater?? did’nt Bill agree to that by paying a 500k fine and losing a 1st round pick.
    and that he has no class?? didnt Bill show his class when he ran up the score against the great joe Gibbs(nicest guy ever in football) and the redskins in ’07 when he went for it on 4th down towards the end of the game while he was up like 45-0.
    didnt Brady shoot his mouth off about Schotenheimer after the Chargers beat them at home in ’05. all marty said was that teams will figure you out in this league and find a way to beat you no matter how good you are or how many SB you’ve won in the past. im sure the Giants have figured out how to beat the pats with just playing smash mouth football.
    so chill out haters. LT never said anything that wasnt true.

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