Sack machine and Hall of Fame pass rusher Kevin Greene has died at the age of 58, the Hall of Fame announced Monday.
No cause of death was given.
Greene was part of the Class of 2016 after a 15-season career that resulted in 160 sacks, third-highest in NFL history. The Los Angeles Rams great trails only Reggie White (198) and Bruce Smith (200).
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Kevin Greene,” Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker said in a statement. “I regarded him as a personal friend and a true Hall of Famer in every sense. He possessed the most incredible can-do attitude of anyone I ever met. He was a great player, but more than that, he was a great man.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Kevin’s wife, Tara, and their entire family. We will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration for future generations. The Hall of Fame flag will be flown at half-staff in Kevin’s memory.”
Greene was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time first-team All-Pro.
“The Rams family and the NFL lost a game changer today,” the Rams said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Hall of Famer Kevin Greene, who left an indelible mark on the Rams franchise with his passion for greatness and his love for teammates and coaches.”
He racked up 72.5 sacks in eight seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, who drafted him in the 5th round of the 1985 draft out of Auburn. He added 41.5 sacks in two stints with the Carolina Panthers (1996, 1998-99), 35.5 sacks with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1993-95), and 10.5 in one season with the San Francisco 49ers (1997). He’s the only player to record double-digit sacks with four different teams.
“We lost an amazing player and person this morning with the passing of Kevin Greene. His sudden death is a shock to us all as he was a close friend and teammate to so many people in the Steelers family,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. “My condolences go out to Kevin’s wife, Tara, their children and the entire Greene family in this most difficult time. They will always be members of the Steelers family and in our thoughts and prayers.”
Greene played in 228 games (176 starts), though he didn’t start a game until his fourth season with the Rams in 1988.
Greene was a walk-on at Auburn before earning the 1984 SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Greene led the Tigers in sacks (11) in his senior season.