LaDainian Tomlinson: “I’m 95% retired to be honest with you. As of right now I am not going back and playing football.”May 18, 2012 – 8:00 am by Steven Cuce
It seems as though LaDainian Tomlinson is on his way off the NFL radar. Here at SRI we’ve checked in with the former San Diego Charger and New York Jet a few times since he played his final game back in January. LT had commented on Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow co-existing back in March , while back in January he told us he may be hanging his cleats up for good.
Right now No.21 sounds real comfortable with the life he is living. If this is it for LT he will finish with the fifth highest number of rushing yards in league history, which is quite the remarkable feat. The only achievement to allude the Hall of Fame running back will have been a Super Bowl ring, which could indeed be the only thing to lure Tomlinson back into the league.
LaDainian Tomlinson joined XX 1090 Sports Radio in San Diego with Darren Smith to discuss returning to San Diego to speak about Junior Seau, the hypothetical possibility of returning to play for the San Diego Chargers, his family having a role in his decision to potentially retire, his wife wanting him to continue his career in football and knowing when the time is right to retire.
On returning to San Diego to speak about Junior Seau last Friday:
“Well I appreciate it. Obviously tough circumstances. As I said coming back to San Diego was emotional enough and I wish it was under different circumstances, but nevertheless it was just great to be back.”
If the San Diego Chargers called you and said they would be interested in your services what would your reaction be to that?
“I’ll be…I don’t know to be honest with you. Obviously I would be flattered to have the opportunity to come back, 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% retired to be honest with you. 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.”
What role does family play in your decision to retire or play in the NFL?
“Yeah. I always have an open line of communication with my career and what I am thinking. She [LaDainian Tomlinson's wife] has kind have known my thinking right after the season up until now and that’s the way we operate.”
Does your wife lean one way or the other for you continuing your career in football?
“I tell you what the thing for her is it’s hard for her I think come to grips with something that I played for so long and she knows how much I love it and have a passion for it to be gone like it’s no more. I tell her you can’t play this game forever. This year or next year? It has to come at some point and so I think she realized that.”
Do you kind of understand why it has been so difficult for guys like Brett Favre to retire?
“Yeah. Absolutely. 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. I don’t have to go to the weight room. I don’t have to go workout if I don’t want to. I am not playing this Sunday. It’s hard to get out of that frame of mind when you have been doing it 20-plus years of your life.”