RB LaDainian Tomlinson officially retired on Monday, signing a ceremonial contract to finish his career as a Charger.
“Today is a special day, and that is because it is not often a player comes along that defines your team, and the NFL for that manner, for the better part of a decade than LaDainian Tomlinson,” said team president Dean Spanos at a press conference. “He was the very heart and soul of this organization during one of its most successful decades. His accomplishments on and off the field were amazing.”
Tomlinson finishes his career fifth all-time in rushing yards and second in rushing touchdowns.
“I always felt like I was a Charger,” he said. “The guys, my teammates, the bond we built and the battles (we fought) together were special. I always felt in my heart that I was a Charger, so thanks to the Chargers organization and Dean Spanos and his family.”
Tomlinson said he had some opportunities to continue playing football, but ultimately decided to retire.
“I have no regrets at all,” he said.
Tomlinson entered the NFL in 2001 and was with the Chargers through the ’09 season. He began his career with eight consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons. His best year came in 2006, when he rushed for 1,815 yards and had 31 total touchdowns.
Tomlinson also had 624 career receptions for 4,772 yards. He spent the last two seasons of his career with the Jets.