Former New England Patriots defensive tackle Ron Brace has died at the age of 29, the team says.
Brace, a former second round pick who last played for the Patriots in 2012, was found dead Saturday night at his home in his native Springfield, Massachusetts, police told MassLive.com.
The cause of his death has not yet been officially determined. But a source told the Boston Globe on Tuesday that Brace appears to have died of a heart attack. He was watching TV when he went into cardiac arrest, the newspaper reports.
Officers responded to his house at about 9 p.m. for a report of an “unattended death,” Captain Robert Strzempek told the news site. Police said there were no obvious signs of a cause of death. The case was turned over to the Hampden County Medical Examiner’s Office, which will conduct an autopsy to determine how Brace died.
According to NBC Sports, the cause of Brace’s death is not believed to be suspicious.
The 6-foot-3, 330-pound Brace, who played football at Boston College, played for the Patriots from 2009 to 2012. He was signed to the Washington practice squad in 2013, and had not been on an NFL roster since.
The Patriots issued a statement on his death:
We were deeply saddened to hear the news this morning of Ron Brace’s death. Seven years ago tomorrow (4/25/09), we drafted Ron after his standout career at Boston College. During his Patriots career, the Springfield native was always eager to volunteer and give back in our communities, especially when those community initiatives were held in Western Mass. It is difficult to believe that someone so young and in the prime of his life is no longer with us. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ron’s family, friends and the many former teammates who will mourn Ron’s passing.