Former Chicago Bears running back Rashaan Salaam has died at the age of 42. According to TMZ Sports, Salaam's body was found in a parking lot at Eben G. Fine Park in Boulder, Colorado on Monday night. While police said there is no sign of foul play, Boulder Daily Camera is reporting that his death is being investigated as a possible suicide.
In his junior year at the University of Colorado, Salaam helped lead the Buffaloes to a Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame in 1994. That same year, Salaam won the Heisman Trophy over Steve McNair of Alcorn State, and Kerry Collins and Ki-Jana Carter of Penn State after rushing for a school-record 2,055 yards and scoring 24 touchdowns. The San Diego, California native was selected in the 1995 NFL Draft by the Bears with the 21st overall pick. In his rookie campaign, Salaam amassed 1,074 rushing yards, becoming the youngest player in league history to rush for over 1,000 yards.
After just three seasons, the Bears parted ways with Salaam, who attributes partying and marijuana use to his fall from grace. Salaam went on to bounce around the league, spending brief stints with the Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, and San Francisco 49ers. Once his professional football career came to an end, Rashaan focused his attention on mentoring young, underprivileged kids.
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