According to former San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers general manager Tom Telesco and head coach Mike McCoy asked him to come out of retirement and play in 2013.
In Michael Gehlken’s article on ustsandiego.com, Tomlinson said “I met Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy at the NFL Combine, and they asked me to come back and play. At first I thought they weren’t really serious, but they kept talking about it, and I realized it was real. They said, you can come back and carry it 10 to 12 times a game.”
San Diego ranked 27th in rushing yards, 31st in yards per rushing attempt and were tied with the Oakland Raiders for last with four rushing touchdowns in 2012, so they need to be better in the upcoming season. A major problem was the decline of Ryan Mathews, who averaged a career-low with 3.8 yards per attempt to go along with a career-low one rushing touchdown in 12 games.
San Diego’s front office signed former New England Patriots RB Danny Woodhead and re-signed Ronnie Brown, which shows they are committed to improving their rushing attack in 2013.
Tomlinson averaged 4.2 yards per attempt with the New York Jets in 2010, but he averaged 3.7 in 2011. While this happened two months ago, I am surprised that Tomlinson was offered 10-12 attempts per game because he turns 34 in June and averaged less than four yards per attempt three of his last four seasons.
If Tomlinson agreed to a deal and averaged 10-12 carries, he would have gotten 160-192 attempts in a season, which would be asking a lot for someone who did not play in 2012 due to his retirement.
Tomlinson said that coming out of retirement would have been too hard mentally. It was the right move for him — he is one of the greatest running backs in NFL history, and has earned the right to enjoy retirement.