John Mackey, who helped revolutionize the NFL's tight end position and whose post-football struggles with dementia became emblematic of the brutality of the game, has died. He was 69.
Mackey died Wednesday in Baltimore after a 10-year battle with frontal temporal dementia, the Baltimore Sun reported.
A former president of the NFL Players Assn., Mackey spent 10 seasons with the Baltimore Colts and San Diego Chargers, catching 331 passes for 5,236 yards and 38 touchdowns — including a 75-yard score on a tipped ball to help lift the Colts over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V in 1971.
"John laid the foundation on and off the field for modern NFL players,"...