Yesterday LT2 called it a career. This was not something that just popped up out of nowhere. We all knew if this year wouldn’t be his last then next year would be. In truthfulness the announcement came at least one season too late. In the end though, a legend is retiring. He will finish as as fifth all-time in career rushing yards. Behind the likes of Walter Payton, Jim Brown, Emmit Smith, and Curtis Martin. To even be named in the same breath as any of those legends is an honor in itself. It just goes to show you though that in a position, who’s average lifespan is 3 years, LaDainian proved to be amazing.
He was drafted in the 2001 NFL draft as the second offensive player taken only behind Michael Vick. He was a susperstar from day one with the Chargers. Starting out his career with 1236 yards rushing and 10 TDs. He would go on to become one of the most versatile backs in NFL history. Only Marshall Faulk and Don Maynard (although he was also a flanker) had more receptions as a running back.
He absolutely dominated the position from 2001 until 2007, and even after his string of injuries, he would go on to be a solid running back who could be counted on to find the end zone when it mattered. Even when most thought he was done in the game, he went on to have a very good season with the Jets in 2010. However it was evident to everyone except him that 2010 should have been his last season.
So now the five year wait starts. In my humble opinion he is a first ballot Hall of Fame member, no doubt about it. With the second most TDs scored by a running back in NFL history and his seven year span of absolute dominance. He needs to be in the Hall. I’m sure most of you would agree with me on this. As for his cards, they will always remain in high demand. However for as an amazing career he has had, his autographs are still in the $40-50 region for the majority of them. A small price to pay for the signature of a legend.