Thursday, July 7, 2011

R.I.P. John Mackey

Former Baltimore Colt John Mackey, a Hall of Fame tight end and former president of the NFL Players Association who struggled with dementia after his playing career, has died. He was 69.

Chad Steele, a spokesman for the Baltimore Ravens, said Thursday that Mackey’s wife notified the team about her husband’s death. No official cause was given.

Mackey played for the Baltimore Colts from 1963-71. He also played for the San Diego Chargers in 1972. He caught 331 passes for 5,236 yards and 38 touchdowns in a 10-season career.

After he retired, Mackey joined Mike Ditka as the first tight ends selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The John Mackey Award was established to honor the nation’s top college football tight end, and Syracuse retired his number in 2007.

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