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NFL Arizona Cardinals

LaDainian Tomlinson will retire as a Charger

For the past 11 seasons, LaDainian Tomlinson has made a name for himself as one of the greatest running backs to ever grace the football field. Now, after rewriting the NFL record books, Tomlinson has decided to rejoin the team that brought him into the league so that he can bid farewell to the league.

On Monday, Tomlinson will sign a one-day deal with the San Diego Chargers and will immediately announce his retirement from the NFL.

Although Tomlinson spent the last two seasons with the New York Jets, his heart belongs to the Chargers. The five-time Pro Bowler spent his first nine years in the league in San Diego, where he became known as arguably the greatest running back of the last decade.

Tomlinson will hang up his cleats on Sunday after producing one of the most prolific careers of any running back in the history of the sport. He’ll leave behind a laundry list of achievements that few pros will ever be able to boast.

Some of Tomlinson’s greatest accomplishments include:

  • 2006 NFL MVP
  • Six-times All-Pro
  • Five Pro Bowl appearances
  • NFL single-season rushing touchdowns record with 28
  • NFL single-season total touchdowns record with 31
  • NFL rushing titles in 2006 and 2007
  • 145 career rushing touchdowns (second all-time)
  • 13,864 career rushing yards (fifth all-time)
  • NFL 2000s All-Decade Team

Some might see Tomlinson’s departure to New York as a muddling of his epic tenure with the Chargers. No two-year stint with another team, however, could tarnish the legend that he created while helping San Diego lift itself out of mediocrity and into the NFL’s elite ranks. He looked ugly in green anyways.

At least we’ll know that when Tomlinson trots across the stage to accept his initiation into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it’ll be as a Charger. It’s only a matter of time before San Diego retires the No. 21.

Congratulations to a San Diego sports icon who revolutionized the game and set the standard for future NFL running backs.

Once a Bolt, always a Bolt.

Follow Gil Alcaraz IV on Twitter.