NFL Hall-of-Famer Fred Dean Dead After COVID-19 Battle at 68

by Thad Mitchell
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Former NFL star defensive end Fred Dean has passed away after a long battle with COVID-19, according to TMZ Sports.

Dean was a Pro Football Hall-of-Famer, a four-time Pro Bowl player, and a two-time Super Bowl Champion with the San Francisco 49ers. He was 68-years-old at the time of his passing.

Dean’s former teammate and close friend, Dwight Hicks, confirmed the news on social media on Thursday.

“I am sorry to say that he succumbed to complications of COVID-19,” Hicks say in a statement. “May peace be with his wife Pam and their families.”

Fred Dean Remembered

Dean was a second-round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers in 1975. He played college football for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. During his six years’ time with the Chargers, Dean earned the reputation as a feared pass rusher throughout the league. He was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 1981 after being unable to reach a contract agreement with the Chargers, according to CBS Sports.

After finishing his career with the 49ers and retiring from the game in 1986, Dean went to the NFL Hall-of-Fame in 2008. Known as a close-knit brotherhood, members of the hall-of-fame expressed their sorrow on Dean’s passing. Hall-of-Fame President David Baker issued a statement on behalf of the organization.

“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Fred Dean,” Baker says in the statement. “He exemplified many of the values learned from this great game – commitment, integrity, courage – over the course of his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Fred’s wife, Pam, and their entire family. We will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration for future generations. The Hall of Fame flag will be flown at half-staff in Fred’s memory.”

In addition to his on-the-field play, Dean built a reputation as a “gentle giant” and a leader for his team and in his community.

H/T: CBS Sports

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