NS. Petersburg, Florida (AP) — Former NFL player Keith McCants was found dead at his Florida home on Thursday after suspected drug overdose, investigators said. He was 53 years old.
The Pineras County Sheriff’s Office said in an email that a member of the Diet was called to his home in St. Petersburg around 5:10 am on Thursday. McCants is dead in the house, and it seems that others who called 911 also lived there.
“It seems that it was an overdose of drugs, but we are waiting for confirmation from the coroner’s office,” said Sheriff spokesman Amanda Shinni. “This is still an open survey.”
Linebacker McCants was the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mobile, Alabama has won national honor as a college student at the University of Alabama.
After playing for three seasons in Tampa, McCants stinted at the then Houston Oilers and Arizona Cardinals before the end of his football career in 1995. McCants has been arrested several times over the years for possession of narcotics and drug-related equipment.
His longtime friend, St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Robert Blackmon, said he and others who knew McCants decided to turn his life around in 2010.
“We lost the fight this morning,” Blackmon said in a Facebook post, adding that McKants renewed his optimism after the May hip arthroplasty.
“We started talking about his future again. The next 20 years. Buy a boat. His signature smile is back. But of all the fights I can help him fight. Because of that, there was something else he had to face alone, “Blackmon said.
McCants also had financial problems detailed in 2012 in an ESPN documentary titled “Broke” about a former professional player who experienced bankruptcy and other financial difficulties.
In his NFL career, McCants played 88 games and recorded one intercept back for a 46-yard touchdown with 192 tackles, a 13.5 quarterback sack and the Cardinals.
After retiring from football, Macants became the first black Marine at the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.