Rather than pay him a $2 million bonus in March, the Chargers released running back Ladainian Tomlinson today, to no one's surprise.
Tomlinson, 30, said he would not accept a pay cut from the team, despite having career lows in 2009 with 730 rush yards and a 3.3 average carry. The Chargers already have Darren Sproles, an elusive scatback-type runner in the mold of LT, and they are expected to draft a big back in April.
At 5-10 and 221 pounds, Tomlinson was an incredible weapon for the Chargers in the run and passing game. He was nimble enough to make big defenders miss and strong enough to break tackles. His performance opened the door for small backs -- like the Ravens' Ray Rice -- to be used more effectively.
With Tomlinson as the team's feature back, the Chargers reached the playoffs each of the last four years, but fell short of the Super Bowl each time, even when they went 14-2 in 2006.
In the last few years, Tomlinson has struggled with foot injuries that kept him on the sideline more and more.