Running back LaDainian Tomlinson did not have a good relationship with former Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith, something that helped preclude a last hurrah with the team before Tomlinson retired last year.
There’s a new regime in San Diego now and it apparently comes with a more open mind about Tomlinson wearing a lightning bolt on his helmet. Tomlinson told Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports that the team contacted him about pausing his retirement for a return to the Chargers for the 2013 season.
“I met [General Manager] Tom Telesco and [coach] Mike McCoy at the combine, and they asked me to come back and play,” Tomlinson said. “I saw [executive vice president] John Spanos at a restaurant in Indy, and he introduced me to them, and they brought it up. At first I thought they weren’t really serious, but they kept talking about it, and I realized it was real. They said, ‘You can come back and carry it 10 or 12 times a game. We’d like to have you here.'”
Tomlinson appreciated the offer, but decided to pass on the chance to get back on the football field.
“No, because when I made the decision to walk away, I wrestled with it long and hard, and I knew it was final. Once I retired, that was it. My mind is in a different place. Mentally, going back would have been too hard.”
A desire to give the 33-year-old Tomlinson 10-12 touches a game suggests that the Chargers would like to lessen Ryan Mathews‘ workload. They signed Danny Woodhead as a free agent, but didn’t add any other help at running back with their six selections in the draft.