Steve White, Former Bucs Defensive End, Dead at Age 48

by Chris Haney

On Tuesday, former NFL defensive end Steve White passed away after doctors recently diagnosed him with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In April, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets player revealed that he needed a bone marrow transplant. White died at 48 years old.

White played in the NFL for seven seasons after being selected in the sixth round of the 1996 draft. He played in Tampa for six seasons until he signed with New York in 2002 where he finished his career after one season with the Jets.

Following news of his death, many of White’s friends and former teammates took to social media to remember him. His Hall of Fame teammate in Tampa, Warren Sapp, shared a message of remembrance on Twitter. Sapp also added a clip of he and White playing beside each other on the Bucs’ defensive line terrorizing opposing quarterbacks.

“RIP Steve White #94 in your Program but #1 in Our hearts!! #SmartToughAndGreatMan #DLine,” Sapp tweeted.

Sapp isn’t the only former teammate to pay condolences online following the news of White’s death. His former Buccaneers teammate Tyoka Jackson, who was also his roommate during road games, shared a message for his friend.

“#RIP to my road game roommate @sgw94,” Tyoka Jackson tweeted. “My condolences go out to his wife, children, family and friends. The memories, the fun, the conversations will never be forgotten.”

Tampa Bay’s former quarterback Shaun King also chimed in about White on social media.

“Just heard my teammate @sgw94 passed away,” Shaun King wrote on Twitter. “Condolences to his loved ones. Always had am encouraging word for me when I was a young player with the @Buccaneers.”

Steve White’s Life and NFL Career

The 6’2″, 270-pound defensive end played college football for the Tennessee Volunteers in the mid-90s. While in Knoxville, he was teammates with Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.

Following his collegiate career, the Philadelphia Eagles selected him in the sixth round of the 1996 NFL Draft. However, they waived him before the season started and he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he played the majority of his career.

White played in 94 games in the NFL, racking up 119 tackles and 11.5 sacks in his seven-year career. His standout performance was in the 1999 NFC divisional playoffs. White contributed seven tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble against Washington. The forced-fumble was the catalyst to Tampa Bay’s go-ahead touchdown in the Bucs’ 14-13 victory. The performance earned White the recognition of Defensive Player of the Week.

After assistant coach Herm Edwards left Tampa, he took over as the head coach of the New York Jets. That’s why White ended his career in New York in 2002 after playing one more season for his former coach. Following his football career, White also contributed as a writer for SB Nation.