Former Bears’ safety Dave Duerson was found dead in his Miami home on Thursday night, according to NBCChicago.com. A cause of death has not been determined, according to the website.
The Bears made the Notre Dame All-American their third-round selection in the 1983 draft. He went on to become a key member of the team’s 1985 Super Bowl championship team before winning another Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants before retiring after an 11-year career.
“When we brought him in out of Notre Dame we knew what we were getting,” former Bears’ coach Mike Ditka said. When Todd held out he stepped right in and took over the starter’s job. With Gary [Fencik] back there we had two of the best safeties in the league.”
Ditka also said Duerson attended the 25th anniversary celebration of the 1985 team late last year and had no apparent health problems.
Duerson, 50, ran a sausage company after his NFL career ended and also served as a trustee at Notre Dame before losing that position after a domestic disturbance.
Most recently he was hosting an Internet radio show.
“Unfortunately, he has had some financial problems,” Ditka said. “I didn’t know he was having those kinds of problems. I’m sure that was probably the biggest thing. That can put a lot of pressure on you when things are going bad financially and you’re having family problems.”
The Bears issued the following statement: “We are stunned and saddened to hear the tragic news regarding Dave Duerson. He was a great contributor to our team and the Chicago community. Today is a difficult day for all of us who loved Dave. We’ll miss him. Our prayers are with his family.”