LaDainian Tomlinson celebrates in 2008 after scoring one of his 162 career… (Chris Carlson / Associated…)
Running back LaDainian Tomlinson officially retired Monday, signing with the San Diego Chargers so he could call it a career with a franchise where he played nine seasons.
"Some guys you watch play and say, 'I wonder if he will wind up in the Hall of Fame?' LT answered that question a long time ago," Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith said. "He is one of the greatest and most versatile running backs to ever play the game. He helped this organization return to relevancy in the NFL and gave all of us a lot of exciting moments we’ll remember forever."
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Tomlinson retires as the league’s fifth all-time leading rusher with 13,684 career yards, its third-most prolific scorer with 162 career touchdowns and owner of the second-most rushing touchdowns in NFL history with 145.
"I knew at the end of the season that it may be a possibility that I walk away from the game. It wasn't because I didn't want to play any more. It was simply time to move on. And that's how I look at it," Tomlinson said.
"One thing I'll remember is when Junior Seau retired and he was up here giving his speech and the one thing that stood out to me is he said 'I'm graduating today.' That's the way I look at it. I've been playing football 20-some years. And at some point it feels like school every year where you sacrifice so much and there's so much you put on the line.
"So today I take the words of Junior Seau -- I feel like I'm graduating, I really do. I'm excited to be a fan and watch you guys play."
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