Former NFL Player Chandler Williams Passes Away During Flag Football Game

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2013

KANSAS CITY, MO - CIRCA 2011: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Chandler Williams of the Kansas City Chiefs poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Former NFL wide receiver Chandler Williams passed away at the age of 27 on Saturday during a flag football tournament in Florida, according to a report from He reportedly died of natural causes.

Williams was 27 years old and spent five years in the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings drafted him out of Florida International in 2007. He also logged time with the Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs.

After his NFL career ended, Williams went to the Canadian Football League in 2012. He played part of this season with the Toronto Argonauts before being released in October, catching four passes for 88 yards and also returning kickoffs. 

Williams played for the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League at the time of his death. He caught 83 passes for 996 yards and 17 touchdowns this season with the team. 

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker and Tampa Bay Storm president Derrick Brooks released a statement (via following Williams' passing:

We are shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Chandler. Our heart and prayers go out to his fiancé Vanitia Harrigan, daughter Tori Williams and the rest of his family.

Williams made his name in college at Florida International. He had two seasons with more than 60 receptions and posted a career-high 870 yards as a junior in 2005. He held seven school receiving records when he left after the 2006 season. 

Despite spending five years with four NFL teams, Williams never got into a regular-season game. His last stint in the league was with the Chiefs in 2011. He found his niche playing in the AFL this past season.