For the first time in his legendary career, Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson is thinking hard about calling it quits.
Tomlinson, a certain future Hall of Famer who played his first 9 years as a Charger, told a San Diego radio station that he is considering ending his 11-year NFL career.
“I am contemplating retirement,” Tomlinson told the Scott and BR Show on XX1090 AM in San Diego Friday. “That’s what I told my coaches and told my agent and everybody. That’s exactly what it is. This is the first time in my playing career that I’ve actually, honestly thought about this may be it for me. That’s kind of where I am right now.”
Tomlinson rushed for career low 280 yards and one touchdown and had 42 catches for 449 yards and two scores in his second season with the Jets, who missed the playoffs.
“We had some great times together,” he added of the past two years with the Jets. “But I just think after 11 years of battling, getting close and not getting it done, it’s hard for me to start over on that journey again. It’s going to be hard.”
While Tomlinson still believes he can contribute on the field, he revealed he’d have to find a situation where there’s “the hope of a championship.”
A Super Bowl ring is the only thing missing from his career, which includes five Pro Bowls and one league MVP award.
“Looking at a team and being like you know what there’s hope there honestly,” LT said. “Beyond that I think at some point nobody wants to retire from football. That’s something that we’ve done since we were little kids but there does become a time where holding on too long is exactly the wrong thing to do for me.”
Should LaDainian Tomlinson walk away this offseason, the three-time first-team all-pro and 2006 MVP will retire as the league’s fifth all-time leading rusher (13,684 yards). His 162 career TDs — including a single-season record 31 in 2006 — are third-most ever.
Here is a clip of some of LT’s highlights as a Charger: