Ladainian Tomlinson and the San Diego Chargers are parting ways, ending a brilliant nine-year run in which he became one of the NFL's greatest running backs and the team made five playoff appearances.
Chargers president Dean Spanos met with Tomlinson on Monday and informed him that the team had decided to release him.
"This is a part of the business that I hate, and it's particularly hard when you're dealing with someone I consider a friend," Spanos said in a statement released by the team. "Change involving great players is never easy.
I respect L.T. as much or more than any player I've ever known. And no one appreciates his contributions to this organization more than I do. That is why this is such a difficult announcement for me to make."
Still, the move had been expected for some time.
"It was a longtime coming, but I knew it was coming," Tomlinson said in a telephone interview with SI.com. "Now that it's official, I can kind of look to the next step in m