Breaking news: The San Diego Chargers annouced tonight that Ladainian Tomlinson has agreed to sign a new three-year deal, keeping LT in San Diego through 2011.
The following is taken from the team issued press release:
San Diego Chargers President Dean Spanos announced today a new three-year contract with running back LaDainian Tomlinson through 2011. Tomlinson’s old contract also was through 2011.
“This is a good day for the Chargers and for Chargers fans,” said Spanos. “It was important to me to get this done so LT could continue his career here in San Diego where he means so much to our team, our fans and our community. The alternative was just unthinkable. He belongs in San Diego.”
“I love San Diego and being a part of this team with my teammates,” said Tomlinson. “My number-one priority was to stay here in San Diego. I truly believe this is the place that gives me the best chance to be successful and win a championship. I want to finish the job we started when I got here eight years ago. My heart has always been in San Diego. I couldn’t imagine putting on another uniform.
“I really appreciate the role Dean played throughout this process. He made it work for everyone, and I appreciate his friendship more than he knows.”
The NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2006 and a five-time Pro Bowl selection, Tomlinson rushed for 1,110 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2008. His play down the stretch was critical in the team capturing its third-straight AFC West title. His three-touchdown performance against Denver in the ’08 regular-season finale catapulted the Chargers in to the playoffs. Tomlinson suffered a groin injury however in the playoffs and was severely limited.
Tomlinson’s NFL career has Hall of Fame written all over it. He’s the only player in league history to start his career with eight-straight seasons of 10-or-more rushing touchdowns and he’s the third to start it with eight-or-more 1,000-yard seasons. He captured the NFL’s MVP Award in ’06 following a record-breaking season, one in which he shattered the NFL marks for points (186), rushing touchdowns (28) and total touchdowns (31), while racking up a career-best 1,815 yards. A year earlier in 2005, Tomlinson tied an NFL record by scoring a touchdown in 18 consecutive games, including a record 14-straight games with a rushing touchdown.
Tomlinson owns or holds a share of 28 team records. The NFL’s 14th all-time leading rusher with 11,760 yards, he ranks second all-time in NFL rushing touchdowns (126) and he’s tied for fourth in total touchdowns (141).
Tomlinson’s reach in San Diego extends well beyond the football field. The NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2006 for his work in the community, LT and his wife, LaTorsha, are founders of the Tomlinson Touching Lives Foundation. The foundation hosts events throughout the year, including youth football camps in San Diego and Texas, a golf tournament, a Thanksgiving program in which they provide more than 2,100 San Diego families with complete holiday dinners and a Christmas program in which they give away more than 1,500 holiday gifts to the patients at San Diego’s Children’s Hospital and Health Center. At each Chargers’ home game, LT hosts “The 21 Club,” where he invites 21 kids from San Diego youth groups and nonprofit organizations to attend a game. After the game, LT invites the children down to the field where they get a one-on-one visit with their football hero.
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