Former NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett died Tuesday in an apparent drowning off a Florida beach, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
First responders were called to a beach in Destin around 2:12 p.m. due to reports that a group of people in the water were struggling to make it to shore, the news release said.
Mallett went under the water and was not breathing when lifeguards pulled him out, the sheriff’s office said. He died at a local hospital, it added.
He was 35.
Mallett was a star with the Arkansas Razorbacks before being drafted in 2011 in the third round by the New England Patriots, the NFL said. He spent seven years in the NFL with the Patriots, Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens.
The NFL said Mallett played in 21 games, went 3-5 as a starter, and compiled 1,835 passing yards, nine touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. His career ended in 2017.
“The New England Patriots are deeply saddened to learn of the sudden and unexpected passing of former quarterback Ryan Mallett,” the team said on Twitter. “Our thoughts are with the Mallett family, his former teammates and all who are mourning his loss.”
He was the head football coach for the White Hall Bulldogs in White Hall, Arkansas, where he also taught physical education and health, according to the district’s website.
“It is with great sadness that we share the loss of Coach Ryan Mallett,” the district said. “Coach Mallett was a beloved coach and educator. We ask that you remember his family, team, students, fellow coaches, and the White Hall School District staff in your prayers.”
At least 11 people have died in less than two weeks along the Gulf Coast due to rip currents, CNN has reported.
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