Former NFL running back Rashaan Salaam was found dead at a park in Boulder Colorado. He was 42. Salaam won the coveted Heisman Trophy in 1994. He was a first-round draft pick in 1995. Salaam was the 21st pick overall by the Bears. In his rookie year, Salaam rushed for 1,074 yards, becoming the youngest player in league history to rush for over 1,000 yards.
A police spokeswoman said the cause of death is still under investigation. Police have mentioned that there is no indication of foul play. Salaams mother Khalada told USA Today sports that they suspected suicide.
“They said they found a note and would share that with us when we get there,” said Salaam’s mother.
Salaam was well loved in Colorado. Matt Russell, who is currently the director of personnel for the Denver Broncos and a former teammate of Salaam at The University of Colorado, shared his thoughts.
“Rashaan was as dynamic off the field as he was on the field as a player. He was a fiercely loyal friend, someone who was always in your corner and had your back. He was the ultimate teammate and supportive of everyone in his locker room. If there was ever a guy who was going to get a personal foul for protecting someone on his team, Rashaan was that guy.
“Rashaan was the ultimate Buffalo and was so proud to be called a ‘Colorado Buffalo.’ We were part of the same recruiting class, what we called ‘nine deuce,’ the Class of 1992. On the field, Rashaan was the definition of a winner. It was important to him. He practiced hard, he played hard and he made our teams better. Rashaan and I laughed a lot after practices because we had so many battles and fights. Even when we last saw each other a few years ago at the CU Hall of Fame induction, we still shared those great memories and had a lot of laughs from our time together at Colorado.
“My heart goes out to Rashaan’s mother and his family. They have a lot to be proud of with the person that Rashaan was, the way he treated people and the friend he was to everyone he came across. He will be missed by so many, and I extend my deepest sympathies to Rashaan’s many friends and family.”