The great LaDainian Tomlinson hung up his cleats this week, signing a ceremonial contract with the San Diego Chargers Monday, officially retiring as a member of the team for which he played the first nine -- and best nine -- years of his career.
LT is a fascinating statistical case study for the
But he also earned a bit of infamy for his struggles in the playoffs. We never saw the same explosive LT in the postseason that we saw in the regular season. The proof of that disparity is found in many of the numbers listed below.
Tomlinson is also a textbook example of the harshest, most brutal truth about violent life in the NFL: men age fast. Very fast in the Not For Long League.
Proud players can rarely admit it. But the Cold, Hard Football Facts show that even this brilliant Hall of Famer, who turns 33 Saturday, was washed up at age 30, never the same player that he was in his 20s.
It seems Jim Brown's exit from the game looks better and more dignified with each passing year. Brown walked off the field at age 29, fresh off a 1965 season in which he led the NFL in attempts (289), rushing yards (1,544) and rushing touchdowns (17).
If LT had done the same after the 2008 season, we might remember him the way we remember Brown: forever young, forever rushing for 1,000 yards.
Here's a look at the mostly brilliant but sometimes lackluster career of the great LaDainian Tomlinson, By the Numbers.