Ladainian Tomlinson Retires

  • Last Updated: June 25 2012, 4:45 BST

Running back LaDainian Tomlinson has officially retired from the NFL as a San Diego Charger.

LaDainian Tomlinson: Announces retirement

The 32-year-old, who has spent the last two seasons with the New York Jets, signed a symbolic one-day contract with his original team before announcing his retirement following 12 years in the league.

A five-time Pro Bowl pick, Tomlinson's career tally of 13,684 rushing yards placed him fifth in the history of the league, while his 162 total touchdowns is the third-best total of all time.

He told NFL.com: "I knew at the end of the season last year that (retirement) may be a possibility. It wasn't because I did not want to play anymore. That wasn't the reason. It was simply time to move on."

He drew on the words of fellow Chargers legend Junior Seau - who passed away last month - as he made his emotional retirement speech.

"One thing I remember is when Junior Seau, when he retired, one thing that stood out to me is he said: 'I'm graduating today.' And that's the way I look at it," Tomlinson said.

"I've been playing football twenty-something years, and so at some point, it almost seems like school every year. Where you sacrifice so much, there's so much that you put on the line - mentally and physically, with your body, everything.

"And so today, I take the words of Junior Seau. I feel like I'm graduating. I really do, because I've got my life ahead of me. I'm healthy, I'm happy with a great family, and I'm excited to now be a fan and watch you guys play."