On Friday, former Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown was found in his Maryland home, dead at the age of 40.
Brown’s family notified authorities that day that Brown had been unreachable for several days, leading to the discovery. Police say it is not thought foul play was involved, and cause of death was not immediately apparent. An autopsy is scheduled.
One of the most notable incidents of Brown’s career came when he was accidentally struck in the eye by a weighted penalty flag during a 1999 game. Brown attacked the referee who caused the injury, and was suspended. The suspension was lifted when the severity of the injury became apparent, and Brown later sued the NFL for $200 million, alleging that the incident hampered his career. The case was settled for $25 million, and while Brown returned to play for another three seasons, many say he was never “the same” after the injury.
Some of Brown’s former teammates took to Twitter to mourn after they were notified of the former Raven’s death Friday morning. Linebacker Terrell Suggs commented:
“He was a beast on the field and a great friend off it. It’s a shame he had to leave us so young.”
Former teammate and fellow tackle Harry Swayne said:
“We just found out before the end of practice. We were close friends. It’s tough, it’s tough. I talked to him a month ago and told him, ‘Zeus, you didn’t have to block half the people you played against because they were scared of you.’ “He was a puppy dog, a big old puppy dog with a little bit of a bark. He had a lot of friends around the league. He was one of the best guys. It’s a tough loss.”
After retiring from football, Brown opened a Fatburger franchise in Maryland. No information about funeral or memorial services for the former Raven has yet been announced.