EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11: LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets runs the ball in the first half against Ben Leber #51 and Husain Abdullah #39 of the Minnesota Vikings at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 11, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
One of my favorite non-Viking players from the past decade or so of NFL football is going to be hanging up the cleats tomorrow afternoon.
Running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who spent quite a while as one of the top running backs in the NFL, has announced that he will retire on Monday as a member of the San Diego Chargers, the team that he spent the majority of his career with. Tomlinson, who attended Texas Christian University, was selected by the Chargers with the fifth overall selection in the 2001 NFL Draft (after the Chargers traded the top overall pick to the Atlanta Falcons, who selected Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick). He played for the Chargers from 2001 to 2009, and then spent a couple of seasons with the New York Jets.
Tomlinson was one of the NFL's more versatile backs. . .in 2003, he became the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards and record 100 receptions in a season. He holds the record for rushing touchdowns in a season and total touchdowns in a season (28 and 31, respectively), a record he set in 2007. He was also named the NFL's Most Valuable Player that year.
Tomlinson retires as the NFL's fifth-leading rusher (trailing only Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, and Curtis Martin) with 13,684 career yards. His 145 rushing touchdowns are second only to Smith.
Congratulations to LaDainian Tomlinson on a brilliant NFL career.