Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Chris Doleman has sadly passed away at age 58.
It’s a tremendous loss for football, his family, and those Falcons fans who remember his brief but awesome run in Atlanta.
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Chris Doleman after a prolonged and courageous battle against cancer,” said David Baker, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s president and CEO. “I had the honor of getting to know him not only as a great football player but an outstanding human being. One of the honors of my life was witnessing Chris get baptized in the Jordan River during a Hall of Fame trip to Israel. The legacy of Chris Doleman will live forever in Canton, Ohio for generations to learn from how he lived a life of courage and character.”
Doleman was a first-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1985 NFL Draft, where he played for nine seasons. He spent the 1994-1995 seasons in Atlanta, where he recorded 16 sacks, 81 tackles and an interception in 30 games. In 1995, Doleman was honored with a selection to the NFL Pro Bowl. He still ranks as having the 23rd most sacks in Falcons’ history. Following his time in Atlanta, Doleman played three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers before returning to Minnesota for one season.
In his Hall of Fame career, Doleman totaled 150.5 sacks, 8 interceptions and 3 touchdowns. As the years progress and we lose more NFL legends, we must reflect on those who gave their all on the gridiron. As the game continues to change, men like Chris Doleman played in different times, and it’s our job to make sure they’re never forgotten.