Before he ceremoniously retired as a member of the San Diego Chargers this week, LaDainian Tomlinson thought about joining one of their biggest rivals to play for one more season.
Tomlinson told the San Diego Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee that he considered following quarterback Peyton Manning to the Denver Broncos this offseason.
“The only team I really gave a thought to was the Broncos, because of Peyton. We talked. Tom (Condon, Tomlinson’s agent) talked with them ... It made me pause a little (and think), ‘Was this what I really want to do?’ … I said, ‘They got Peyton, they have a good defense already; they went deep in the playoffs with Tim Tebow, what are they going to do with Peyton?’ I seriously thought about it.”
Tomlinson seriously thought about Denver because, now that he is retired, there will always be one thing missing from his resume as one of the NFL's all-time great running backs: a Super Bowl championship. Tomlinson was the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 2006, setting single-season records with 31 total touchdowns and 186 points while rushing for a career-high 1,815 yards.
Tomlinson said the elusive Super Bowl ring was the only reason he decided to suit up the last two seasons with the New York Jets. It led him to ponder a move to Denver, but ultimately, at least part of the reason he said he decided to retire rested on the feeling that he wouldn't be winning a championship with the Chargers, even if it did happen.
"At the same time, I thought, ‘How much is a Super Bowl ring really going to do for you at this point?’ Because it’s not with the team I really wanted to do it with.'”