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Bears defensive end Gaines Adams dead at 26 of possible enlarged heart

Gaines Adams, the defensive end the Bears acquired for a second-round draft pick from Tampa Bay this season, died this morning at 26.

Adams, according to reports in The Greenville News, was pronounced dead at the emergency room of Self Regional Hospital in Greenwood, S.C. according to County Coroner James T. Coursey.

Adams, 26, was a standout player at Clemson at defensive end, and was the fourth player chosen in the 2007 National Football League draft by the Buccaneers. He was traded from Tampa Bay to the Chicago Bears in October, though didn’t find much playing time with the struggling defensive unit.

An autopsy is planned by Anderson County officials and the cause of death is cardiac arrest due to an enlarged heart – natural causes.

In four years in the league, Adams, a native of South Carolina, recorded 13.5 sacks in 29 games.

Former Tampa Bay coach and current “Monday Night Football analyst tells the Sun-Times that Adams was a good teammate and well-liked:

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“He was a great kid, a hard worker who always had a smile on his face. I don’t know anybody who didn’t like Gaines Adams. He was a great teammate, just a stand-up guy, a class act.”

The tragic news comes less than 24 hours after fellow Bears defensive lineman Dusty Dvoracek was arrested in relation to a bar brawl in Oklahoma.