Former NFL linebacker Geno Hayes died Monday night as a result of liver disease, according to several media reports. He was 33.
A first-team All-ACC pick at Florida State in 2007, Hayes was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He played seven seasons in the league with the Bucs, Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Hayes finished his career with 401 tackles, 10 sacks, six interceptions, six forced fumbles, and two defensive touchdowns.
“He was a good one, a linebacker who could run. Everyone was looking for that speed,” FSU coach Bobby Bowden told the Tallahassee Democrat Tuesday morning.
The Greenville, Fla. native entered hospice care earlier this month for a “chronic liver condition.” He was reportedly living with the disease for the past two years and on a wait list for a transplant at the Mayo Clinic and Northwestern Medicine.
Hayes told ESPN that he believes his use of over-the-counter pain medications during his time in the NFL, as well as his family’s history of liver disease, led to his condition over the course of several years.
He is survived by his wife and two children.