Junior Seau, who played 20 season in the NFL for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots, died today, TMZ reports. Police suspect suicide, with the coroner having just arrived on the scene.
Over the course of his career, Seau was a 10-time All-Pro and 12-time Pro Bowler. He made the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team and was a part of the New England Patriots team that won all 16 regular-season games before falling to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. But he made his greatest mark with the San Diego Chargers, where he played from 1990-2002.
Although it’s impossible to make any formal connection yet, Seau’s possible suicide recalls that of Dave Duerson. Duerson, a former NFL safety, shot himself in the chest last year after suffering from a degenerative brain disease caused by multiple concussions. Seau also shot himself in the chest, according to TMZ.
Seau’s apparent suicide comes a little less than two years after he drove his SUV off a cliff in San Diego. Nine hours earlier, he had been arrested on suspicion of hitting his then-girlfriend. Seau claimed he had fallen asleep at the wheel.
Seau was also a major philanthropic figure in his town of Oceanside, and his foundation has given over $4 million in the last 10 years to charity.
According to USA Today, Seau is the eighth member of the 1994 San Diego Chargers to die before the age of 45.