Former San Diego Chargers safety Paul Oliver is dead at the age of 29 after reportedly committing suicide, according to Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego.
Former Charger Paul Oliver is dead at 29. Committed suicide ... A good dude. Always enjoyed talking to him. Dang, this is sad.— UTKevinAcee (@UTKevinAcee) September 25, 2013
Oliver was a fourth-round selection for San Diego in the 2007 supplemental draft out of the University of Georgia. He played for the Bolts through 2010 before signing with the New Orleans Saints prior to the 2011 season. Oliver never played a regular-season contest with the Saints, though, as he was released. He eventually re-signed with San Diego.
Oliver had been out of football since the end of the 2011 campaign. He ended his career with 144 tackles, a sack, four interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles.
According to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego, Oliver's family released a statement thanking everyone for their support in this very difficult time.
Statement from Paul Oliver's family: "We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers. We request privacy in the wake of this tragic loss."— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) September 25, 2013
Oliver's former collegiate coach, Mark Richt, also expressed a great deal of heartache when asked about his passing, according to Seth Emerson of The Macon Telegraph.
Mark Richt on Paul Oliver's death: "I was crushed this morning when I heard it, quite frankly. I haven't been able to keep it off my mind."— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) September 25, 2013
After spending his first couple seasons at Georgia in relative obscurity, Oliver truly broke out during his junior year as he became a shutdown cornerback for the Bulldogs. He didn't stick around for his senior year due to academic ineligibility, but the Chargers were willing to take a chance on him.
Oliver became a valuable depth safety for San Diego, as he contributed both on defense and special teams. His best NFL season unquestionably came in 2010, when he racked up 62 tackles, recovered two fumbles, forced one fumble and intercepted a pass.
The details surrounding Oliver's death remain unclear at this time, but there is no question that the entire NFL community is mourning an unfortunate loss.
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