Linebacker Thomas Howard, who was cut by the Falcons last week to make roster space for Sean Weatherspoon to be activated from the injured reserve/designated to return list, has died in a car accident.
According to reports, Howard was driving north on highway 880 in Oakland, California at speeds greater than 100 mph around 12:50 a.m. this morning when he lost control of his vehicle and hit the back of a semi truck. His car then ricocheted into oncoming traffic in the southbound lanes, killing the driver of another vehicle.
Howard was drafted in the second round by the Oakland Raiders in 2006 out of the University of Texas El Paso. Howard also spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals before being placed on injured reserve with an ACL tear in 2012. Howard was active for two games with the Falcons this season prior to being waved to make room for Spoon's return.
On a personal note, I met Howard just two weeks ago at Sean Weatherspoon's SPOONful of Hope fundraising event, and he seemed like a genuinely nice guy. Howard was also focused on making a difference in his community, and sponsored a number of Oakland-area educational initiatives through his foundation.