Former NFL player Kenyatta Jones dies at 39

Kenyatta Jones, an offensive lineman who played parts of four seasons in the NFL, died Saturday at age 39, his mother told the Tampa Bay Times.

Jessica Hadley-Brown said her son died of cardiac arrest in Colorado.

Jones, who played at South Florida during the program’s first four seasons (1997-2001), was mourned by the Bulls’ community

“It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Kenyatta Jones at such an early age,” USF Interim Director of Athletics Scott Kull said in a statement. “Our first NFL Draft pick and Super Bowl champion, Kenyatta demonstrated what USF football would become and was the first of what would be many talented and hard-working Bulls that have followed their dreams to the professional ranks. Our thoughts and prayers and those of Bulls Nation are with his family during this difficult time.”

“Just a fun-loving guy, man, like a gentle giant,” former Bulls running back Keith Williams told the Times. “But on that field, he took care of business.”

Selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft, Jones played sparingly for the championship team that beat the Rams in the Super Bowl that season. Jones started 11 games the next season, but underwent double knee surgery in the offseason, and was sidelined for 2003.

According to the Times, while on the inactive list Jones was arrested for allegedly throwing scalding water on his houseguest and administrative assistant. The Patriots released him five days later.

Jones played one season with the Redskins in 2004, and later played in the Arena Football League.

According to the Times, he was arrested in a narcotics sweep in 2008, but was not prosecuted.

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