LaDainian Tomlinson said Friday he expects to keep playing after this year, whether it’s with the Jets or elsewhere.
“I will say this is not the last year I will play football,” Tomlinson said. “I hope I continue to play here but this won’t be my last year playing.”
The 32-year-old running back is finishing out a two-year deal worth $5.2 million. He reportedly reworked his contract recently to free up salary cap space for the team.
The former MVP led the team in rushing last season with 914 yards, along with six touchdowns. Despite speculation, Tomlinson said he was never overly concerned about being released.
“I felt like I played well enough where I added value to this team,” Tomlinson said. “That was my mindset — I felt like there was something that I can offer here that would make them want to bring me back.”
Jets coach Rex Ryan said Tomlinson will be primarily a third-down back this year — a role he’s accepted and one that will help prolong his Hall-of-Fame-caliber career. Third-year back Shonn Greene is expected to start.
“We know he definitely has a lot left in the tank,” Ryan said of Tomlinson.
Primarily keeping him in the game is Tomlinson’s desire to reach a Super Bowl, a stage that has eluded him in his first 10 season. Last year was the second time in three seasons Tomlinson had reached the AFC Championship game only to come up short.
“I’ve done so much,” Tomlinson said. “I just want to feel what it feels like to get there and win a championship.”