Chargers: How does LaDainian Tomlinson get left off NFL 100 team?


The NFL has started to unveil its all-time team and fans of the Los Angeles Chargers already have a gripe.

As part of the league’s 100th anniversary, a team of the top 100 players in history is being assembled. The team is being revealed on NFL Network each Friday for the next six weeks with Rich Eisen, Cris Collinsworth and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the show’s panel.

The idea is terrific and gives fans a chance to relive and learn about important moments and players in the league’s history. On Friday night, the list of running backs on the list was revealed.

Though there were 12 running backs that made the team, LaDainian Tomlinson was not among them. For many, that will be hard to believe.

If 12 running backs are among the 100 greatest players ever, Tomlinson is one of them, right? With 13,684 career rushing yards, Tomlinson sits at seventh on the league’s all-time rushing list. His 145 career rushing touchdowns are the second-most ever and then of course, there is the 2006 season.

That year, LT scored 31 total touchdowns, a single-season record that still stands to this day. He also had 1,815 yards rushing and 508 yards receiving en route to being named league MVP. You can make the argument that it was the best individual season in NFL history.

But for whoever is putting this team together, that wasn’t good enough. Here are the names that did make the list.

Jim Brown

Emmitt Smith

Barry Sanders

Walter Payton

O.J. Simpson

Dutch Clark

Steve Van Buren

Marion Motley

Lenny Moore

Eric Dickerson

Gale Sayers

Earl Campbell

Should you include LT on the list, the question becomes which player do you take off? Many of these players played in the league many, many years ago. In the case of Clark, his career began almost 90 years ago. We can’t say someone doesn’t deserve to be there just because we didn’t see them play.

For what it’s worth, there was a live reaction show following the episode that revealed the running backs and Tomlinson was part of that panel. He revealed that there were 24 running backs named as finalists and he was part of that list. He seemed to have no issue with not making the cut, but he did make a good point.

He noted that Smith, the league’s all-time leading rusher, was the player the made the cut who had his career start the latest, meaning that no player drafted after 1990 made the cut.

This is obviously an exclusive club and no matter what, there are going to be debates at every position and some very deserving players are going to be left off. It’s hard to believe that a player who had the career Tomlinson did would be left off this list.

The 30 greatest players in Chargers history. Where does LT rank?

If you called Tomlinson the best player in the history of the Chargers, you probably won’t get much of an argument. He was incredible and from the year 2001 (when he was drafted) until now, he is probably the best running back to play in the league during that time.

There will still be many players added to the team in the weeks to come but if Tomlinson is left off, how many Chargers players will be on it?