Former Chiefs Second-Round Draft Pick ‘Found Dead in Federal Prison’

Saousoalii 'Junior' Siavii

Getty Former Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Saousoalii 'Junior' Siavii on August 28, 2004.

Solemn news came out of Leavenworth, Kansas, on January 13, 2022.

“A former Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle was found dead in a Kansas federal prison where he was being held on charges of illegal firearms possession,” reported the Associated Press via ESPN.

That ex-Chief was Saousoalii “Junior” Siavii, a second-round draft pick of KC in 2004.

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Details Behind Death

There has not been too much information released pertaining to the death of Siavii at this time. Bill Lukitsch and Sam McDowell of The Kansas City Star wrote:

Siavii, 43, was found unresponsive at the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth around 2:35 p.m, Anna Armijo, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, said in a statement. He was treated by prison staff and taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Few details were immediately disclosed about the circumstances surrounding his death. Armijo said no staff or other inmates were injured and ‘at no time was the public in danger.’

The prison did not choose to release additional details, per the ESPN report.

Makenzie Koch of FOX 4 News detailed the 2021 arrest that Siavii had been awaiting trial for.

She reported: “Under federal law, it’s illegal for anyone who is an unlawful drug user to be in possession of any firearms or ammunition. Court documents say police were called to a parking lot on U.S. 40 Highway where Siavii was getting out of a stolen vehicle. Officers said Siavii disregarded their commands, and an officer deployed his Taser on Siavvi twice. Police reported finding a loaded pistol, ammunition and other drugs in Siavii’s possession.”

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Siavii’s Brief NFL Career

After setting high NFL expectations out of Oregon, Siavii struggled to find his place in the professional world.

The 6-foot-5 defensive tackle was known for his run-stuffing ability but he only totaled 15 tackles (four for a loss) in two seasons with Kansas City. He added one sack and one fumble recovery in 26 games.

In 2006, former Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards released Siavii after an injury-hindered training camp. He received surgery for a microfracture in his knee upon his departure from Kansas City.

Then after three years out of the league, the failed prospect latched on with the Dallas Cowboys in 2009 at age 31. Siavii accomplished his best NFL campaign in 2010 as a six-game starter with the Seattle Seahawks. He had 30 total tackles that season (two for a loss) and three quarterback hits but was cut after training camp in 2011 — only to never play in the league again.

Siavii made his lone two playoff appearances with Dallas as a backup nose tackle. He made three postseason tackles.

The American Samoan’s size caught the eye of scouts but in the end, he never lived up to the enormity of his draft status. No matter the result of his unresolved legal matters, Siavii is no doubt gone too soon. May he rest in peace.


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