LaDainian Tomlinson Says He’s ’95 Percent Retired’ From NFL, Hasn’t Thought About Returning for 12th Season


LaDainian Tomlinson's career is all but over.

The running back revealed on XX 1090 Sports Radio in San Diego that he is "95 percent retired" from the NFL and hasn't thought about returning for a 12th season.

"Obviously I would be flattered to have the opportunity to come back [to San Diego], but to be honest with you, I am not truly sure what I would say to it because as I mentioned before, I'm 95 percent retired to be honest with you," Tomlinson said when asked what he would say if the Chargers expressed interest in bringing him back to San Diego. "I haven't thought about going back out and playing football next year. As of right now, I am not going back and playing football. It would just have to be something that I would have to think about and talk with my family and just really before I made a decision know that it is the right decision."

Tomlinson appeared in 14 games for the Jets last season, his second campaign in New York. He saw his playing time drastically decrease, though, and therefore put up career lows in carries (75), yards (280) and touchdowns (one).

The 32-year-old has been selected to five Pro Bowls in his 11-year career. He was also named MVP in 2006, when he racked up an NFL single-season record 28 rushing touchdowns while scampering for 1,815 yards.

The one glaring omission on Tomlinson's resume is a Super Bowl ring, which he's failed to obtain despite playing on some talented teams in both San Diego and New York. One would imagine that going after the elusive ring might be reason enough to stick around, but the running back seems to be warming up to the fact that his playing days may be over, even if the transition to retired life could prove difficult.

"Yeah. Absolutely," Tomlinson said when asked if he understood why it's been so difficult for guys like Brett Favre to walk away. "I completely understand because we are trained and structured a certain way to be on the schedule. As football players, our bodies know exactly what time of year it is and what we need to be doing. Not only does it make it hard for that transition physically, it makes it hard mentally getting out of that mindset of okay I don't play no more."

Tomlinson should find his way to Canton regardless of whether he returns for another season.

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LaDainian Tomlinson Says He's '95 Percent Retired' From NFL, Hasn't Thought About Returning for 12th Season

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First and foremost, we miss Drew [Brees]. This whole team, the community, the fans, everybody misses Drew, but we also realize right now we have to move on without him. Is a deal going to get done? Yes, I have faith. But right now, it's a great opportunity for myself to go in, show the type of skills I've [gained] … and really earn the trust of the guys.
–Saints backup quarterback Chase Daniel, who will never be Drew Brees

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LaDainian Tomlinson Says He's '95 Percent Retired' From NFL, Hasn't Thought About Returning for 12th Season

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