Police Reveal Suspected Cause of Death for 26-Year-Old Ravens Linebacker

Ravens Jaylon Ferguson

Getty Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson looks on during a September 2021 game.

Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson has died at the age of 26, the team announced on June 22.

Neither the team nor Ferguson’s agent, Safarrah Lawson, offered any details surrounding Ferguson’s death, but Justin Fenton of The Baltimore Banner reported that the death is a “suspected overdose based on items found at the scene,” per a source.

Fenton wrote that the police are “not ruling anything out” and are considering “the possibility that it could be an overdose,” per an official spokesperson.

“Additional information was not immediately available and the death investigation has been referred to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,” continued Fenton.

Per multiple reports, police responded to reports of a “questionable death” at a home on Ilchester Avenue in northern Baltimore around 11:25 p.m. Eastern time on the night of June 21, where they found an unresponsive Ferguson. The 26-year-old received treatment from medics but never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Ferguson was a 2019 third-round pick by the Ravens after an extremely successful college career at Louisiana Tech University. Ferguson accumulated 45.0 sacks in 36 games during his four seasons with the Bulldogs, an all-time FBS record previously held by legendary Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. Though he couldn’t replicate his college production in the NFL – just 4.5 sacks in his first three seasons – Ferguson was a solid run defender and special teams contributor in Baltimore.

Ferguson is survived by his fianceé, Doni Smith, and the couple’s three children.

Ferguson’s NFL, College Teams Post Statements

The Ravens posted the following statement after Ferguson’s death:

We are profoundly saddened by the tragic passing of Jaylon Ferguson. He was a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and infectious personality. We express our heartfelt condolences to Jaylon’s family and friends as we mourn a life lost much too soon.

The Louisiana Tech University football team, where Ferguson played in college, offered their condolences as well:

The LA Tech Family mourns this morning’s tragic news of the sudden death of former Bulldog great, . We will remember his God-given talents on the field and his infectious personality off of it. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. RIP, 45.

Ferguson’s agent, Safarrah Lawson, also released a statement. “He was a wonderful young man full of love and life. He will be remembered not just as a football player, but as a great father, son, brother and friend. The family asks for your continued prayers.”

Other Reactions Pour In

Ferguson’s teammates posted their condolences on social media, including remembrances from fellow Ravens linebackers Patrick Queen and Josh Bynes.

“The last person I talked to leaving the facility. Spent almost everyday in the sauna together tryna see who gone last longer. Said it was our turn this year man. Ima miss you bro,” tweeted Queen.

Star quarterback Lamar Jackson and offensive guard Ben Cleveland also reacted to the news of Ferguson’s passing on Twitter.

Some of Ferguson’s former teammates who have since retired or moved onto other teams also expressed their condolences, including Robert Griffin III and Tavon Young.

“Great teammate and gone too soon at the age of 26,” Griffin wrote.

“He was a solid dude and love his family with everything,” Young wrote.

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Hans Jacobsen
Hans Jacobsen
2 days ago

Horrible Tragedy , leaving children and wife behind .
Ferguson’s manner of death was ruled to be an accident, Cook said.
Yea sure , he walked into living room stumbled , fell into a pile of fentanyl and coke , total accident .
It is so sad that people deliberately sit down and do drugs and die and they are called role models and great supporters of the community .

10 days ago

That is sad because he was a real swell role model for our youth.

Hans Jacobsen
Hans Jacobsen
2 days ago

What ? He was a real swell role model for our youth !!! Are you out of your f(/& )(G mind , Is this what you want as a role model in your community , Leaving wife and children at home , so he can do some illegal , deadly pharmaceuticals , and then call it an accident . Todays ideas idea of a role model is totally incomprehensible and demoralizing . Tell you children , if you do drugs you will end up like such and such .

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