Ex-NFL player Keith McCants dies at 53
Keith McCants, a first-round pick in the 1990 NFL Draft, was found dead Thursday in St. Petersburg, Fla. He was 53.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s office and the Pinellas County Medical Examiner’s office told local Bay News 9 that McCants’ death is under investigation.
Authorities responded to a call about an unresponsive male, where McCants was found. His cause of death has not been released.
“I talked to him all the time. Nothing was out of the ordinary,” Robert Blackmon, a city councilmember in St. Petersburg and a close friend of McCants, told AL.com.
McCants was an All-American linebacker at Alabama before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected him No. 4 overall in the 1990 draft and moved him to defensive end.
He played three seasons with the Buccaneers, followed by stints with the Houston Oilers and Arizona Cardinals over the next three seasons. In 88 career games (39 starts) he made 192 tackles and 13 1/2 sacks. He made one interception and six fumble recoveries and scored two defensive touchdowns.
He stumbled after his football career, however. In 2012, he was one of the athletes who endured financial problems featured in ESPN’s 30 for 30 film, “Broke.” He also talked of his use of painkillers and street drugs, his multiple arrests and struggles with homelessness.
“Keith always wanted his story out there,” Blackmon said. “He wanted others to benefit from the adversity he faced. I just loved him so much. I just don’t know what to say.”
–Field Level Media