Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson has died at age 26.
- Jaylon Ferguson had played three seasons at Baltimore after setting a sack record in college football
- Tony Siragusa, a Super Bowl winner for Baltimore, died on the same day
- The NFL has seen several high-profile deaths in the past 12 months, including Marion Barber and Demaryius Thomas
Ferguson, nicknamed ‘Sack Daddy’, played three NFL seasons, all with Baltimore. He set the career sacks record in the college Football Bowl Subdivision (45) when he played at Louisiana Tech.
Police said the cause of death is still to be determined.
“On June 21, 2022, at approximately 11:25pm, Northern District patrol officers responded to a home in the 400 block of Ilchester Avenue for a report of a questionable death,” Baltimore police said.
“Once there, officers located 26-year-old Jaylon Ferguson, unresponsive, being treated by medics. Ferguson never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead on the scene by medics. No signs of trauma was found or foul play suspected at this time.”
Ferguson was drafted by the Ravens in the third round in 2019, and played in 38 games as a pro with 4 1/2 sacks.
“We are profoundly saddened by the tragic passing of Jaylon Ferguson,” the Ravens said in a statement.
“He was a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and infectious personality. We express our heartfelt condolences to Jaylon’s family and friends as we mourn a life lost much too soon.”
Born December 14, 1995, in St Francisville, Louisiana, Ferguson played high school football and basketball at West Feliciana.
At Louisiana Tech, his 45 sacks were one better than another Ravens linebacker, Terrell Suggs, achieved at Arizona State.
Ferguson was a third-team AP All-American in 2018.
“The LA Tech Family mourns this morning’s tragic news of the sudden death of former Bulldog great, Jaylon Ferguson,” the Louisiana Tech football program tweeted.
“We will remember his God-given talents on the field and his infectious personality off of it. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Ferguson’s death continues a year of tragedy for the NFL.
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jeff Gladney died in a car crash in June, while former running back Marion Barber died two days later aged 38.
Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was killed in April when he was struck by a truck having exited his vehicle after it ran out of petrol.
In December last year, champion wide receiver Demaryius Thomas died after suffering a seizure.
Day of tragedy for the Baltimore family
Ferguson’s death came as news that Tony Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who helped lead a stout Baltimore defence to a Super Bowl title, had also died. He was 55.
Siragusa’s broadcast agent, Jim Ornstein, confirmed the death Wednesday. The cause of death was not immediately available.
“This is a really sad day,” he said.
“Tony was way more than my client, he was family. My heart goes out to Tony’s loved ones.”
Siragusa, known as ‘Goose’, played seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and five with the Ravens. Baltimore’s 2000 team won the Super Bowl behind a defence that included Siragusa, Ray Lewis and Sam Adams.
Siragusa was popular with fans because of his fun-loving personality, which also helped him transition quickly to broadcasting after his playing career.
“There was no one like Goose — a warrior on the field and a team unifier with a giving, generous heart who helped teammates and the community more than most people know,” said Brian Billick, the coach of that Super Bowl-winning team.
“We would not have won the Super Bowl without him. This is such stunning, sad news.”