Tomlinson passed on chance to return to Chargers – as a player

As the San Diego Chargers look to move forward with a new general manager Tom Telesco and a new coach Mike McCoy, the organization tried to recapture one from its past.

As recently as February, the team presented an opportunity to running back LaDainian Tomlinson to rejoin the franchise – as a player. Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports offers up the surprising nugget, perhaps an indictment of what the club has at the position right now.

Tomlinson, 33, didn’t really consider the offer.

“I met Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy at the combine, and they asked me to come back and play," Tomlinson told Silver. “I saw (executive vice president) John Spanos at a restaurant in Indy, and he introduced me to them, and they brought it up. At first I thought they weren't really serious, but they kept talking about it, and I realized it was real. They said, ‘You can come back and carry it 10 or 12 times a game. We'd like to have you here.’

“When I made the decision to walk away, I wrestled with it long and hard, and I knew it was final. Once I retired, that was it. My mind is in a different place. Mentally, going back would have been too hard.”

Tomlinson last played for the Chargers in 2009 before spending two seasons with the New York Jets and then signing a one-day contract to retire as a Charger last summer. He rushed for 13,684 and 145 touchdowns in his illustrious career.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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