5 NFL players who were senselessly shot dead

The life of an NFL player can be something people aspire to. The glitz, glamor and fame that comes with being adored by millions is something people crave.

However, the downside is that sometimes people will try and take advantage of your wealth and fame. Most of the time it can be dealt with by lawyers or the league, but other times, people simply go too far and take matters into their own hands.

The loss of a life is heartbreaking for everyone involved, but even more so when a person is senselessly killed for no reason.

Here are five NFL players who were senselessly shot dead.

#5 – Will Smith

Washington Redskins v New Orleans Saints
Washington Redskins v New Orleans Saints

Smith, who was only 34 tragically lost his life back in 2016 after he was shot during a traffic incident.

According to New Orleans police via, Smith was hit from behind by a car (a Hummer) which then pushed his car into the one in front of him. Police stated that Smith bumped into a Hummer and then got out and argued in the street with the driver of the other vehicle. Then the driver of the Hummer, Cardell Hayes, pulled a gun and shot Smith.

Plans in the works for celebration of Will Smith’s life at Saints Practice Facility this Friday- Open to the Public- More Details Tomorrow

An act of road rage ended the NFL veteran’s life at just 34.

#4 – Joe McKnight

Houston Texans v New York Jets
Houston Texans v New York Jets

Former New York Jets running back Joe McKnight was just 28-years-old when he sadly lost his life back in 2016. Like Smith, McKnight’s death was from an apparent road rage incident, per ESPN. Something that could have easily been avoided.

Newell Normand, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff at the time, said:

“At approximately 2:43 p.m. today we received a call of a shooting that occurred here at Holmes [Boulevard] and Behrman Highway [in Terrytown]. Our officers arrived on the scene and immediately began giving CPR to an individual who was shot and lying on the ground, with EMS and others assisting at this location.

“The individual who was shot and ultimately expired has been identified as Joseph ‘Joe’ McKnight.”

#3 – Eric Patterson Jr.

Patterson was a former NFL cornerback and was just 26-years-old when he was tragically shot dead at his home in Florida, per The New York Post.

According to police via the Post, Patterson’s roommate found him face down in his home. He was taken to the hospital and was pronounced dead shortly after.

Eric Patterson Jr. (February 5, 1993 – June 8, 2019) American football cornerback. He played college football for Ball State University, and was signed by the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2015. Patterson was shot to death in his home in Tampa, Florida.

Patterson Jr. played for three teams across his journey, the Rams, Colts, Patriots and Browns. His life was tragically cut way too short.

#2 – Sean Taylor

Kansas City Chiefs v Washington Football Team
Kansas City Chiefs v Washington Football Team

One that is still hard to fathom, even today. Taylor was shot and killed after burglars broke into his home in Miami back in 2007. He was protecting his family and according to, Taylor contronted the men in the house with a machete, which is when he was shot in the leg.


Taylor was shot in the femoral artery, and the Washington star suffered a huge amount of blood loss. He would tragically pass away just 24 hours later.

The man who shot Taylor was Eric Rivera, and he was sentenced to 57 years in prison. Taylor was just 24.

#1 – Steve McNair

Oakland Raiders vs Tennesee Titans - October 30, 2005
Oakland Raiders vs Tennesee Titans – October 30, 2005

Steve McNair’s story and his death in 2009 was purely a result of jealousy from another woman. The former Titans quarterback was thought to have been shot by Sahel Kazemi, a woman who thought McNair was seeing another woman on the side.


According to The Guardian, McNair was sleeping on his couch when Kazemi walked up and shot him in the temple. Kazemi then unloaded another three shots into the former NFL quarterback. She then turned the weapon on herself, the police stated.

It was truly a sad incident as Kazemi was out of control due to the reportedly mounting financial pressure and jealousy of the former NFL star.

If you use any quote from this article, please credit and H/T Sportskeeda.

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