A look at some of the NFL's greatest running backs before and after their 30th birthdays, beginning with the recently released LaDainian Tomlinson. In 2006 and 2007, when Tomlinson was 27 and 28, no player accounted for more rushing yards (3,289), touchdowns (49) or yards from scrimmage (4,272). In 2009 at age 30, L.T. rushed for just 730 yards and the five-time Pro Bowler was subsequently released by the Chargers.
2 of 12Al Tielemans/SI
In 2007, at 27, Westbrook accounted for a career-best 2,104 offensive yards, including 1,333 rushing yards. He was first-team All Pro and led the league in yards from scrimmage. At 30, Westbrook played in just eight games, rushing for 274 yards and accounting for only two touchdowns. The Eagles released Westbrook on Feb. 23.
3 of 12Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
No player in the Super Bowl era has been more bruising, durable and unafraid than the Tyler Rose, which might explain why his great fall came a year earlier than most -- at 29. In 1983, at 28, Campbell rushed for 1,301 yards and 12 touchdowns in just 14 games. A year later he was a mere shell of himself, battered and ultimately traded to the Saints, rushing for just 468 yards and retiring a year later at 30.
4 of 12Ed Wolfstein/Icon SMI
Lewis rushed for at least 1,000 yards in seven of his first eight NFL seasons, including a league-best 2,066 in 2003, when he was NFL MVP and first-team All Pro. After turning 30 before the 2009 season, Lewis' production screeched to a halt. He managed just nine games and 500 rushing yards.
5 of 12Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
The great Dickerson's fall was swift and spectacular. In 1988, at 28, Dickerson led the NFL in attempts (388), rushing yards (1,659), yards per-game (103.7) and total yards from scrimmage (2,036). After turning 30 just two seasons later, Dickerson managed just 677 yards. He ultimately played out the string with the Raiders, then the Falcons.
6 of 12John Biever/SI
For eight years, George piled up the carries and the yards. Not once in his first eight seasons did he carry the ball fewer than 312 times or rush for fewer than 939 yards. That includes a decent season as a 30-year-old. But one year later, at 31, George mustered only 132 carries and 432 yards, retiring after that horrible season in Dallas.
7 of 12Peter Read Miller/SI
One of the most explosive players in league history, Faulk consistently topped NFL leaders in total yards, touchdowns or both. At 27 and 28, Faulk combined for a spectacular 47 TDs and nearly 4,400 yards from scrimmage. At 30, Faulk's production dropped by nearly half and his per-carry average fell by more than 1.5 yards. In his last season. At 32, Faulk rushed for just 292 yards and zero touchdowns.
8 of 12Jamie Squire/Getty Images
It was a sad 2009 season for Johnson. Once considered the epitome of a workhorse, averaging nearly 360 attempts and more than 1,700 yards in 2005 and 2006, Johnson slid into near oblivion. He rushed for just 562 yards and zero touchdowns in 2009, with a per-carry average of just 3.2 yards.
9 of 12Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
In 2005, at 28, it appeared Alexander would be able to run forever, with nothing getting in his way. He led the NFL in attempts (370), rushing yards (1,880), touchdowns (27) and yards per-game (117.5). When he turned 30 just two seasons later, Alexander became a virtual non-factor, rushing for just 55 yards per game and four touchdowns.
10 of 12Bob Rosato/SI
Green wasn't just durable, but explosive. He had rushes of at least 90 yards in consecutive seasons and averaged less than 4.5 yards per-rush only once in his first eight seasons. He accounted for at least 1,400 yards of offense in six of seven seasons from 2000 to 2006. Then came the big Three-Oh. In 2007, after his final 1,000-yard season in Green Bay, Green carried for a mere 260 yards in Houston.
11 of 12David E. Klutho/SI
You want consistency? You got it with Edge, who ran for at least 1,159 yards on at least 310 attempts in the five seasons prior to his 30th birthday. In 2008, at 30, however, James managed just 133 carries and 514 yards. At 31, his numbers dipped again to sad totals of just 46 attempts and 125 yards.
12 of 12Al Tielemans/SI
The beloved one could always be counted on for running right at defenses and picking up the tough yards. It caught up to him, quickly. After rushing for at least 1,000 yards in four of five seasons, McAllister managed just 92 yards rushing in an injury-shortened 2007 season, then just 418 yards when he turned 30 in 2008.
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