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After 11 seasons as an NFL running back, LaDainian Tomlinson is hanging up the cleats.
Tomlinson signed a one-day contract to officially retire as a member of the San Diego Chargers, the team with which he spent his first nine seasons. Tomlinson's time with the Bolts included five Pro Bowl appearances, two seasons as the NFL's leader in rushing yards and a 2006 NFL MVP award. He was also a recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2006.
After accumulating more than 1,100 rushing yards in each of his first eight seasons with the Chargers, Tomlinson was slowed by injuries in 2009 and managed only 730 yards on 3.3 yards per carry. He was subsequently waived and signed with the New York Jets for the 2010 campaign. The year proved redemptive for Tomlinson, as he compiled 914 yards on 219 carries, an average of 4.2 yards per carry, and helped the Jets to an 11-5 record and a trip to the Conference Championship.
LaDainian Tomlinson's MVP Season: 2006
|Rush Att||Rush Yds||Rush TDs||Recs||Rec Yds||Rec TDs||WIS|
Though a Super Bowl ring eluded Tomlinson, his name is firmly entrenched in the NFL record books. He ranks fifth in career rushing yards and seventh in career all-purpose yards. Tomlinson's 2006 campaign is the 18th-highest single-season rushing total.
NFL Records: Career Rushing Yards
|1||Emmitt Smith||18,355||1990-2004||1,173 (1995)|
|2||Walter Payton||16,726||1975-1987||1,852 (1977)|
|3||Barry Sanders||15,269||1989-1998||2,053 (1997)|
|4||Curtis Martin||14,101||1995-2005||1,697 (2004)|
|5||LaDainian Tomlinson||13,684||2001-2011||1,815 (2006)|
Tomlinson's 31-touchdown season in 2006 remains the most touchdowns scored in a single season. Shaun Alexander is second with 28 touchdowns, a feat he accomplished the year before. Tomlinson's 2006 campaign also puts him atop the list for most points scored in a season (186), besting Paul Hornung's 1960 effort by 10 points.
NFL Records: Career Total Touchdowns
|1||Jerry Rice||208||1985-2004||23 (1987)|
|2||Emmitt Smith||175||1990-2004||25 (1995)|
|3||LaDainian Tomlinson||162||2001-2011||31 (2006)|
|4||Terrell Owens||156||1996-2010||16 (2001)|
|5||Randy Moss||154||1998-2010||23 (2007)|
Jake Westrich is the Digital Content Coordinator for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.