The world of American football has recently been struck by a series of tragic losses. On June 28th, 2023, former NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett passed away at the age of 35 in an apparent drowning incident off a Florida Panhandle beach. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office reported that Mallett was not breathing when lifeguards pulled him out of the water.
Despite immediate lifesaving measures, he was pronounced dead at the Destin Emergency Room. Mallett had a successful career in the NFL, playing for teams such as the New England Patriots, Houston Texans, and Baltimore Ravens. At the time of his death, he was serving as the head football coach at White Hall High School in Arkansas.
Earlier in the year, on April 18th, 2023, another former NFL player, Chris Smith, also died at the age of 31. Smith, who was a defensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns, spent eight years in the NFL, playing for multiple teams including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, and Las Vegas Raiders.
His cause of death was not immediately known. Smith was remembered by his peers as one of the kindest people in the organization. His personal life was marked by tragedy when his girlfriend Petara Cordero was killed in a car accident in 2019, just weeks after giving birth to their child.
These recent deaths have left a significant impact on the NFL community, with teammates, fans, and family members mourning the loss of these talented athletes.