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"We have cap relief, and now we have the opportunity over the next couple of years to address some things we'd like to get done," Smith said. "I'm just glad this has passed by and we can move on with a lot of things we need to do."
Smith would like to see Tomlinson's career culminate with a long-sought Super Bowl title.
"It would be a really, really wonderful way to cap it off for a great player," Smith said. "We know he's a Hall of Famer waiting to go. All I know is he's done everything he can on his end, and I need to pick up my end of the deal and get it done.
"I know what he's done over the years, and obviously we've got to help him, too," Smith said. "We need to shore up that front line and establish a dependable ground game."
This saga has had a few twists and turns.
Smith was livid that the severity of Tomlinson's groin injury was revealed several hours before the playoff game against the Colts, leading him to call out the player and his agent, Tom Condon.
Tomlinson, long the franchise's most brutally honest employee, confirmed he had a detached tendon in his groin while the team said only that he had a strained groin.
In late January, Smith mocked a statement Tomlinson posted on his Web site, in which he said he wanted to stay in San Diego, mimicking the star's comments practically word for word. Smith later said he regretted making the comment.
Tomlinson was voted the NFL MVP in 2006, when he set league records with 31 touchdowns -- 28 rushing -- and 186 points. He also won the first of two straight league rushing titles with a career-high 1,815 yards.
A five-time Pro Bowler, Tomlinson owns or shares 28 team records. The NFL's 14th all-time leading rusher with 11,760 yards, he ranks second all-time in rushing touchdowns (126) and is s tied for fourth in total touchdowns (141).
He was the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2006 for his work in the community.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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