Largest salaries in LA Chargers’ history: 5. LaDainian Tomlinson
- $8.06 million in 2005
- $18.6 million in 2020
LaDainian Tomlinson is one of the five greatest running backs in the history of the league and nobody can tell me otherwise, not even the NFL100, who left Tomlinson off the list altogether.
Tomlinson’s run in the mid-2000s was unprecedented and he still holds the honors of having the greatest single season by a running back in NFL history. His 2006 season is unlike anything else that has ever been done and his single-season touchdown record may never be broken.
Before that, though, Tomlinson signed the largest running back contract (to that point) in league history — an eight-year, $60 million deal. LT signed the deal prior to the 2004 season.
The length of the contract alone is surprising and that might not seem like that much compared to 2020’s terms but when we compare the numbers, it is obvious how valuable Tomlinson was to the Bolts.
The first year of LT’s new contract paid him $8.06 million, or $18.6 million in 2020. To put that into perspective, Christian McCaffrey’s new unprecedented contract extension is paying him an average salary of $16.015 million per season.
If we turn the average salary from LT’s contract ($7.5 million) and translate it into a contract in 2020, the equivalent for LT’s record-setting contract in 2020 would be an eight-year, $147.6 million contract if signed today.