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Tomlinson’s time in San Diego ends

Posted by Joel Price on February 22, 2010 – 2:39 PM

Running back LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers all-time leading rusher, was released today after nine remarkable seasons in San Diego.

Chargers President Dean Spanos met with Tomlinson today and informed his veteran running back that he is being released.

“This is a part of the business that I hate, and it’s particularly hard when you’re dealing with someone I consider a friend,” Spanos said. “Change involving great players is never easy. I respect LT as much or more than any player I’ve ever known. And no one appreciates his contributions to this organization more than I do. That is why this is such a difficult announcement for me to make.

“It has been a privilege to work with him and witness his entire career. I’m proud of him and grateful to him for the way he has carried himself both on and off the field.

“No matter where he chooses to continue his career, in my mind LT will always be a San Diego Charger. His legacy as one of the greatest running backs the game has ever seen will be as a Charger.”

Tomlinson owns or shares 28 team records, including career rushing yards, yards from scrimmage and touchdowns. During his nine seasons in San Diego, Tomlinson won two rushing titles (2006 and ’07), set an NFL single-season record for touchdowns in a season (31 in ’06) and racked up 12,490 rushing yards, the eighth-highest total in NFL history. He was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2006 and earned Pro Bowl honors five times.

“I was fortunate to be the offensive coordinator here during LT’s rookie year in 2001 and it didn’t take long to realize that we were dealing with a special player and a special individual,” Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner said. “And when I returned to the Chargers in 2007, I was proud to be a part of his second NFL rushing title.

“LT is a true pro. He’s one of the greatest runners this game has ever seen and words can’t do justice to the things he’s accomplished on and off the field.”

In addition to his long list of achievements on the gridiron, Tomlinson’s tireless efforts in the community have benefitted thousands of individuals in San Diego as well as his native Texas. In 2006, LT received the NFL Man of the Year Award in recognition of his numerous philanthropic efforts.

“It’s fitting that LT’s and LaTorsha’s charity is called the ‘Touching Lives Foundation’ because that’s exactly what they’ve done,” Spanos said. “So many people have been positively affected by their generosity. Our community has been fortunate to have them.”

Tomlinson joined the Chargers in 2001 as the fifth overall selection in the NFL Draft. The Chargers originally held the top pick in the draft, but swung a trade with the Atlanta Falcons, who moved up to take quarterback Michael Vick. The Chargers nervously waited as Tomlinson fell to the fifth spot where they enthusiastically brought him into their fold.

“There were a lot of eyebrows raised when we made that trade, but LT proved to be everything we thought he’d be and more,” Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith said. “He’s a future Hall of Famer. My only regret is that he leaves San Diego without a Super Bowl ring.”

Tomlinson was one of 53 men recognized as the Greatest All-Time Chargers during the team’s 50th anniversary celebration last season and he was recently named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s. His 138 career rushing touchdowns are the second most in NFL history and his 153 total touchdowns ranks third in league annals.

“I look forward to the time when we’ll see his number retired and see him inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Spanos said. “I can’t say enough about how much I’ve enjoyed being around LT and LaTorsha the last nine years.”

Posted in News Release | 21 Comments »

21 Responses to “Tomlinson’s time in San Diego ends”

  1. By Roy Funk on Feb 22, 2010 | Reply

    Another case of AJ not doing his homework and letting the OL go to pot. No one could have gotten through the holes they opened. Just another case of not being one of A.J.’s boys. Will now proabaly get his ring, just like Junior, Rodney, and Drew.

  2. By MadFan on Feb 22, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for all the good years L.T. we will miss you. Time to get a hard nose pounding running back, a kicker that doesn’t choke in the play offs and a safety that is not afraid of making tackles. Let’s not forget a good full back.

  3. By JimMcB on Feb 22, 2010 | Reply

    Sad day.How many opportunities will we have to see one of history’s most illustrious running backs? He’s in the company of the greatest who’ve played the game. Yes, he’s lost a step, but watching LT is like watching Willie Mays in center field, or Larry Bird bringing the ball down court. We won’t see a running back like LT for a long time.

  4. By KC on Feb 22, 2010 | Reply

    The Chargers have definitely lost me as a fan. They have no heart to let L.T. go …. a business decision? What a terrible business decision.

  5. By mac on Feb 22, 2010 | Reply

    no one should go to watch Charger games any more, maybe they will understand the gravity of their ‘business decision’

  6. By DaBlog on Feb 22, 2010 | Reply

    Looks like the Chargers released Tomlinson to save money. It’s tough to see a good player like him go. The next team that signs him will be getting proven productive player.

  7. By omarm on Feb 22, 2010 | Reply

    Home town hero’s go away But the chargers will always stay
    AJ what a shame – its like every piece of the puzzle we get you remove because your not happy, well just like the Raiders will never be contenders until AL Davis is gone neither will we. Spanos grow some of your own and stop trying to build from the draft we need Leadership now we cant wait for it to develop we need some one to calm the troops during melt downs (JR, Rodney, and given the chance Lights out) but those vets are vital and we are blowing it year after year we have been doing it AJ way far to long more busts then production Buster, Molds, Davis, Fenoti, Chambers, ….come on stop the bleeding and give us our PRECIOUS..I WISH THE HIGH UPS WOULD READ THESE COMMENTS please bring us hope…Dean we have the team we need all we need is the fearless leaders to rouse the troops and sound the CHARGE. Omar M.

  8. By ken on Feb 23, 2010 | Reply

    Is there anyway we can trade spanos? what a waste of skin and oxygen, his “business” decisions keep costing us the big game, every time we get close – the next year we trade all the power to “rebuild”

  9. By Eric on Feb 23, 2010 | Reply


  10. By john R. on Feb 23, 2010 | Reply

    Yep, the san diego chokers are going nowhere now.

  11. By anya on Feb 23, 2010 | Reply

    THE CHARGERS LOST ANOTHER FAN! booooooooo TO U AJ!!!!!!!!

  12. By anya on Feb 23, 2010 | Reply

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you LT for the memories… YOU ARE THE GREATEST CHARGER EVER! SAN DIEGO/ the fans will miss you a whole lot! *sobs*

  13. By Best Charger fan in Downey on Feb 23, 2010 | Reply

    I want to personally Thank you #21 for 9 years exceptional performance and service to the San Diego Chargers on behalf of all Charger Fans. LT displayed Class and Composure through all the ups and downs of the past 9 years. Like the horse to the plow, never did he fail in my eyes.
    I know that the NLF is a profit orginization (My Wallet Tells me that everytime I treat myself to a game in my Old Home Town) and that the “Everyone Loves A Winner” attitude is part of our American Culture, But did we as a Team and the Citizens and Friends of “America’s Finest City” have to sink to the murky depths of “Just Win Baby” at the cost of Our favorite Son?
    I sure do hope that every possible effort was made to explor and negotiate possible financial solutions that would have worked out a “Win, Win” for LT and the Chargers prior to his release from the team. If that did happen, then OK, Great, Thanks for trying to keep our Living Legend on the rooster! If it was that LT was not going to be paid what he might make elsewhere in the waining years of a illustrious career and he relized that, then go get the money LT! We will miss you! I miss you already kiddo!!
    Could LT have been viewed to play in a different capacity in the Offense? Did anyone factor a way for #21 to gain the last needed yards to smash all the rushing titles in San Diego? You know (Front Office) that would have made up for many (But Not All) of the near misses that were witnessed over the years by the loyal fan base.
    Although I do wish Blessings to Ladamien (And His Family) in all endevors on and off the field of play, I have problems seeing #21 Breaking the Balance of the Rushing Titles as anything But a Charger. I will now resign myself to be proud and happy to see LT retire as the “All Time Rushing Leader of the NLF as a member of ?? what team”. (Please don’t hire LT Al Davis!) LT will always be a Charger in my mind. But what will the inscription say on his tropy in Canton Ohio? What Team claims LT? The one that worked Him day in or day out or a teams that paid him what he deserves as the crowd draw that he is. I think that many of us Charger Fans feel the same way about this cloud that cast a dark shadow over Jack Murphy Field on our brightest Son of San Diego. I mean, It’s like Sea World selling Shamoo to Kal Kan because he can’t jump as high as he once did. Nobody has blown out all of the Padres because they don’t produce either, but that is another story all together.
    I am hopeful for the Chargers to finally put it all together soon. I have had my prayers going for them since 1977. I will still ask the Lord for HIS help for the Bolts in 2010 and beyond! Chargers for Life!! If the Saints can do it, we certainly can too! Which brings me to this.. Instead of the Players changing on the rooster all the time, maybe the most positive attitude can be adopted by all on the Team. The lack of poise on the field in the past decade during the big games is truly the thorn in the Tiger’s Paw and has blown too many excellent opportunities for us to advance to the Big Game. Best wishes to all of the Chargers. Train hard this Off Season too! Your Best Charger Fan in Downey Ca.

  14. By Ruben on Feb 23, 2010 | Reply

    I would like to thank LT for the best 9 seasons he gave us in San Diego. Have been a faithfull fan since 1965 seen alworth gone junior gone and now LT. the best of luck LT. to me you will always be a CHARGER

  15. By ChargerBolt21 on Feb 24, 2010 | Reply

    It’s sooooo sad that LT has to go. I’ll root for the chargers and any other team (besides the Broncos) LT goes to. :(

  16. By WilliamF on Feb 24, 2010 | Reply

    LT will be missed in San Diego. This could have been another awesome year if AJ wouldn’t have gotten rid of the big weapon to LT’s success Lorenzo Neal. Hester is not cutting the mustard. As a proud Bolt fan LT was always that weapon we had that only a few teams came close to possessing. I wish him the best and I hope that the Chargers can draft someone that can at least do half of what LT was as a player then the Chargers will be alright.

  17. By TW VIKE on Feb 24, 2010 | Reply

    A.P. & LT, thanx Sad Diego. If you really want to self-destruct, TOs out there.

  18. By COBRA COMMANDER on Feb 26, 2010 | Reply

    in all my years ive watched the chargers go from choke artist to champion but all the while weve had a dead body strapped to our back in the form of DEAN DUMBSH*T SPANOS he let BREES go (pause for applause) and he just won the superbowl we drafted ryan leaf i think hes in prison for selling drugs to his high school fottball team he keeps a coaching staff that couldnt win a playoff game if the crimson jihad had their family held hostage and RAY FINKLE ie keading if anyone ever deserved to be cut that piece of trash does but TOMLINSON??? ive never even considered fallowing another team but until a true fan steps up n takes spanos out ill never ever watch a game wear a jersey or even say i was a fan of sd we as fans should boycott all things sd till spanos is removed preferably by force with lots of kicking and screamin for mercy REMEMBER bolt fans theres no justice like angry mob justice and i for one could deliver alot of justice swinging a pillowcase full of doorknobs

  19. By sportsmom54 on Feb 26, 2010 | Reply

    I am sorry to see LT go. I don’t understand all the in’s and out’s of putting a quality team together, but it seems to me that a veteran like LT is worth crunching the numbers. Perhaps if the offensive line could open a hole LT could get a few more yards. He isn’t as good as he was, but what RB is when they are punished for 9 consecutive years? He is a great asset to the Chargers and will be greatly missed. He is a leader in more ways than as one of the best RB ever. He gives to his community, and encourages his team. He is a true “team player”. So many of these super stars are full of themselves, not LT. He is classy young man. May God richly bless you LT and your family in all your endeavors in life.

  20. By Tony on Feb 26, 2010 | Reply

    Ruthless. First LT and now Sproles? Spanos should pull his head out of the backside of AJ Smith and realize AJ is the reason we don’t have a ring. LT hasn’t been allowed to run like he can or did when Marty was here. Ever since Turner took over, LT’s game has declined. And speaking of Turner? Are you kidding me? This guys doesn’t deserve an extension. His talented players are the ones who carried this team. NOT his knowledge of a head coach.

    I LOVE LT and hope whatever team he goes to he wins a ring and on induction day takes their jersey to enter the Hall in and stick it up AJ and Spanos’ backside!


  21. By SDCfan77 on Mar 14, 2010 | Reply

    I have been a Fan since 1977 (4 years old). So my colors run deep. Seems like we have been haunted by the “KAEDING CURSE”. San Diego is now one of those cities with that hokey superstition hanging over its head.

    We need to get rid of that SOB Kaeding. My son’s Pop Warner kicker could have done a better job over the years.GET RID OF THAT PUNK!

    AJ and Spanos, Boy… You two are jokes..Learn to manage a team..AND GIVE US A SUPERBOWL!!!! How can you live your life being the butt of jokes and hatred. Couple of clowns you are, ASS Clowns!!! Every charger game, there needs to be people who dress up like a clowns with plastic asses to mock those Sons of a B*tches. So everytime a game is played they see themselves. LET’S START A NEW FAD HERE!! ASS CLOWNS running up and down the stadium cheering!!! Let them know CHARGER Fans have the last word…..Then lets see them squirm next time a decision is made. Think of the clown!!HAHA or someone at the head table is!!!

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