Chandler Williams dies the way he made his living — playing football.
The 27-year-old former NFL and current Arena League football player was in a local flag football tournament in South Florida when he suddenly died. The league did not note his cause of death, but doctors said it was a natural death.
Chandler Williams had a brief NFL career, being drafted in the seventh round by the Minnesota Vikings in 2007. He saw action in preseason games in four seasons, playing for the Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, and Kansas City Chiefs, but Williams never played in a regular-season game. He also saw time in the Canadian Football League as a member of the Toronto Argonauts.
It was in the Arena Football League that Chandler Williams excelled, The Associated Press noted. He had 83 catches for 996 yards and 17 touchdowns, and led the league with a 23-yard kickoff return average in his most recent season with the Tampa Bay Storm.
A Florida native, Williams was the second player ever from Florida International University to be drafted in the NFL. When Williams graduated from the university he held five received records. During his college career, Williams caught 203 passes for 2,519 yards and 8 touchdowns, leading the team in receiving in the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
As Chandler Williams dies, he leaves behind a fiancee and daughter.
Tampa Bay Storm team president Derrick Brooks released a statement after word spread that Chandler Williams dies, saying: “We are shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Chandler. Our heart and prayers go out to his fiancée Vanitia Harrigan, daughter Tori Williams and the rest of his family.”