Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson has died at the age of 26, the team announced Wednesday morning. The cause of his death has not been released.
Police said there were no signs of trauma or foul play, but investigators are not ruling out the possibility of an overdose before the medical examiner determines a cause of death. That’s irrelevant to me. Ferguson, the father of three, was only 26 years old. That’s a tragedy regardless of the circumstances.
“He was a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and an infectious personality,” the team said. “We express our heartfelt condolences to Jaylon’s family and friends as we mourn a life lost much too soon.”
Baltimore Police said officers responded to the 400 block of Ilchester Avenue on Tuesday about 11:25 p.m. for a report of a questionable death, CBS Baltimore reported. Ferguson was identified as the person who died, police confirmed.
The league expressed condolences to Ferguson’s family and friends in a statement.
“We are heartbroken to hear of the tragic loss of Jaylon Ferguson,” the NFL said.
A native of St. Francisville, Louisiana, Ferguson was drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Louisiana Tech, where he had 187 tackles and an NCAA record 45 sacks during his four years as a Bulldog, earning him the nickname “Sack Daddy.”
In three seasons with the Ravens, Ferguson played 38 games, 10 of them starts, recording 67 combined tackles and 4 1/2 sacks.
Entering his fourth season with the team, Ferguson was a standout at the team’s recent minicamp after he showed up slimmed down and with an “obvious sense of urgency,” according to Todd Karpovich of the Sports Illustrated affiliate FanNation.
As he entered his third season in the league, in 2021, Ferguson said he was picking up new techniques from some of the team’s veteran defensive linemen, like Justin Houston, Pernell McPhee, Derek Wolfe, Tyus Bowser and Calais Campbell.
He was ready to “dominate” his opportunities on the field, he said.
“As long as I get a chance to keep playing, as I long as I get a chance to keep my cleats on and come out here, I’m going to keep working, keep working to get better every single day,” Ferguson said.