A Super Bowl will hopefully be in Tomlinson’s future

Running back LaDainian Tomlinson was released from the San Diego Chargers on Monday after nine years of playing for them. While this was inevitable, it still upsets me to see that the former Horned Frog never got a Super Bowl ring.

He was the fifth overall selection in the 2001 NFL draft and since then has rushed for a total of 12,490 yards, was MVP of the league in 2006 and earned Pro Bowl honors five times. The fact that he has yet to wear a ring for these accomplishments is both shocking and saddening. And while critics say that his time as a star running back and franchise player may be over, I beg to differ.

His stats have gradually dropped since his 2001 rookie year, but that is understandable considering his age. He’s been playing pro for nine years. People also have to realize that the reason his stats have gotten lower, especially in the 2009 season, is because the Chargers have been playing more of a passing game. Tomlinson will likely be the star running back no matter where he goes. He still has around four or five good years of playing time, assuming he goes without injury.

He has already done everything an individual player can do, so now he just wants a championship. He reminds me a lot of Kevin Garnett, except Tomlinson plays on the field rather than the court. Garnett did everything he could individually with the Timberwolves, but he was unable to get an NBA championship. So the Celtics picked him up in 2007, and they won their 17th title that same season. Tomlinson needs to go to a team that has other tricks up its sleeves in order to get a ring, in the Celtics case a Ray Allen, a Paul Pierce and a Rajon Rondo. It is impossible to win a championship with a one-man team.

Rumor is, the Houston Texans want Tomlinson, and that could be exactly what he needs to achieve his dream of Superbowl stardom. With Tomlinson as a running back and Andre Johnson as wide receiver (named the best receiver in the league with 1,569 yards), the Texans would be unstoppable in both rushing and passing.

Even the Chargers admit their disappointment in Tomlinson leaving without receiving a Super Bowl title.

“He’s a future Hall of Famer,” Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith said, according to Los Angeles Times. “My only regret is that he leaves San Diego without a Super Bowl ring.”

Even without a ring, Tomlinson will go down as one of the football greats, with 28 titles for the Chargers in his nine seasons as their star player. His proven versatility could be attractive to many NFL teams. Remember the 2005 victory over the Raiders when Tomlinson became the seventh player in NFL history to run, catch and throw for a touchdown in the same game?

Tomlinson deserves a Super Bowl win, and he will hopefully achieve it in the next phase of his already stellar career.

Ashley Iovine is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Katy.