SAN DIEGO (AP) — LaDainian Tomlinson was released Monday by the San Diego Chargers, ending a brilliant nine-year run in which he became one of the NFL’s greatest running backs.
The move had been expected for some time. Tomlinson, who turned 30 last summer, was injured early in the 2009 season and finished with 730 yards on 223 carries for an average of 3.3 yards per carry, all career lows.
Tomlinson was due a $2 million bonus in early March, which all but guaranteed he would be cut loose as his role diminished on a team that thrived with a pass-happy offense.
L.T. wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Team president Dean Spanos met with Tomlinson on Monday and informed him of his release.
“This is a part of the business that I hate, and it’s particularly hard when you’re dealing with someone I consider a friend,” Spanos said in a statement. “Change involving great players is never easy. I respect L.T. as much or more than any player I’ve ever known. And no one appreciates his contributions to this organization more than I do. That is why this is such a difficult announcement for me to make.”
Tomlinson ranks eighth on the all-time rushing list with 12,490 yards. He was the NFL’s MVP in 2006, when he set NFL single-season records with 31 touchdowns and 186 points.
He won the NFL’s rushing title in 2006 and ‘07.
WATCH NBC SPORTS COVERAGE OF TOMINLSON’S RELEASE HERE:
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