LaDainian Tomlinson was on hand Friday night at Qualcomm Stadium to celebrate the life of former San Diego Chargers teammate Junior Seau. After issuing a heartfelt speech in memory of his fallen friend, Tomlinson suggested to U-T San Diego that he's ready to walk away from the NFL.
"I'm pretty much done with football," Tomlinson said. "I read a book to help me prepare. The league needs to do more to help guys prepare."
Tomlinson spoke of his own wishes to assist NFL players make that transition from the field to life beyond, an issue thrust into the spotlight with Seau's suicide.
If this is, indeed, L.T.'s newest project, we're looking at the end of a great career, one certain to be remembered in Canton.
Tomlinson recently said he was "95 percent" retired, but we wondered if that had something to do with a lack of interest from teams. He was productive with the New York Jets in 2010 but failed to make the same impact last season (statistically, he fell off the map).
It's hard to imagine some team out there couldn't use the five-time Pro Bowl back as part of a rotation, but it speaks to the state of the position. Tomlinson is among a group of 30-something free-agent runners still available, but he's unique in terms of what he's brought to the game during 11 memorable seasons.
UPDATE: NFL.com's Steve Wyche spoke with Tomlinson after the ceremony. The running back wouldn't say he was retired, leaving open the possibility of returning for the right situation. Tomlinson did tell Wyche he's exploring broadcast opportunities, although it's not something he plans to do on a full-time basis in the near future. Wyche reported fans in the 20,000-plus crowd chanted for the Chargers to re-sign Tomlinson, if only to allow him to retire as a member of the franchise.