Tomlinson wisely retires with Chargers

June, 17, 2012
6/17/12
12:00
PM ET


On one calf LaDainian Tomlinson has a tattoo of the New York Jets' logo. On the other calf, there is a logo of the San Diego Chargers.

After departing San Diego under less-than-rosy circumstances, there was some debate of which team Tomlinson would retire with. Tomlinson appeared torn with his allegiance for the past couple of years.

Mostly, the future Hall of Famer was happy with the way the Jets treated him late in his career and equally disappointed with how he was handled in San Diego after giving the Chargers nine years in his prime. But cooler heads eventually prevailed. Tomlinson will briefly re-sign with San Diego and retire as a Charger on Monday.

This is the right move for Tomlinson, whose Hall of Fame career started and was cemented in San Diego. When you watch Tomlinson’s career highlights en route to Canton, most of them will be viewed with a lightning bolt on his jersey.

Tomlinson’s two-season stint in New York was merely a footnote in his stellar, 11-year career. Tomlinson arrived to the Jets in 2010 as a 31-year old running back on his last legs. His first season was solid: Tomlinson led the Jets with 914 rushing yards and helped get New York to the AFC Championship Game. But last year Tomlinson battled injuries and rushed for just 280 yards in 14 games.

I will remember Tomlinson for a lot of things. He was a Hall of Fame player on the field and also a great person off the field and in the locker room.

But I won't remember Tomlinson as a New York Jet. He's a San Diego Charger, first and foremost.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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