LaDainian Tomlinson: “This is the first time in my career that I’ve honestly thought about this may be it for me”January 6, 2012 – 10:45 am by Chris Fedor
When LaDainian Tomlinson was last looking for a new team in free agency, he wanted to go to a place that gave him a great opportunity to chase a Super Bowl ring, the only accomplishment that has eluded him during his 11-year Hall-Of-Fame career. So two years ago, LT chose to go to New York and play for the Jets. Unfortunately, it looks like his time in the Big Apple will end just the way it did in San Diego: with heartbreak and an empty ring finger.
Tomlinson is set to be a free agent this offseason and he has a few choices to make. Number one, if they want him back, he could re-sign with the Jets in hopes that the team makes a few changes to get the locker room cleaned up. Number two, he could go somewhere else in free agency and try to make one final run at a Super Bowl. Or, LaDainian Tomlinson could decide to hang up his cleats and retire from the NFL with the fifth highest number of rushing yards in league history, without experiencing the confetti falling down on him on the last day of the NFL season.
While Tomlinson is no longer a feature back, he still looks like a guy that help a team. He brings a ton of NFL experience, he is one of the classiest players in the game, he can catch the ball out of the backfield, and he still has some mileage left on his tires. There’s still a spot in the NFL for LT it’s just a matter of where and if he is willing to come back for year number 12.
LaDainian Tomlinson joined XX 1090 in San Diego with Scott and BR to talk about whether or not he is ready to retire, what he would need to see from a team in order to come back, whether or not he has an issue with the selfishness in today’s NFL, if he would go back to the Jets, if he would consider going back to San Diego, and what he thinks he can offer an NFL team at this stage of his career.
Whether or not he is ready to retire:
“I mean, man that’s a good question honestly. I don’t know as of now. I honestly don’t. I am contemplating retirement. 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 kinda where I am right now.”
What he would need to see from a team in order to come back:
“Just hope. I think hope of a championship. Looking at a team and being like you know what there’s hope there honestly. 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.”
Whether or not he has an issue with the selfishness in today’s NFL:
“Let me say I think you’re always gonna have that to a certain extent but it becomes important for everybody in the organization sometimes to control that, meaning control, either remove or whatever it may be so the team can move forward and not take a step backward. I can’t say that’s exactly all of it because there were some great times this year even through all that. We had some great times together 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 gonna be hard. (Host: New journey as in new team?) Yeah new team.”
If he will be back with the Jets:
“That’s hard to say. I can’t say either way. (Host: Would you want to go back to the Jets?) I think anything is open guys. I really do. I’m not gonna say no and I can’t say yes either because I have to wait and see what changes are made because there will be changes. On every football team there’s changes. For me I want to wait and see what changes. As I talked about is that of the championship when I first got here to the Jets.”
Whether or not he would consider returning to San Diego:
“Yeah. Absolutely would consider it. I would consider all teams. I’m gonna listen to it and talk to the family about it. That doesn’t mean I would take that offer but I would consider it.”
If he is surprised that Norv Turner and A.J. Smith were retained in San Diego
“I really wasn’t surprised at all because I think Dean (Spanos) has that hope and kinda has confidence in both of them guys where he likes what the organization is right now and the direction that it’s going. I’m pretty sure that has a lot to do with Philip Rivers and him being the quarterback and this team and Norv is really good for Philip, this offense, and all that stuff. That might have a lot to do with it as well.”
If he thinks he still has something to offer a team:
“Yeah I definitely think so. For one my experience in the passing game and I think I’ve proven this year that I’m still viable out of the backfield in one-on-one matchups and things like that. I still get open. I think the passing game, a lot of teams are throwing the ball these days and I think I’d help people a lot in the passing game.”