Derrick Thomas

Age: 33

nine-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs who was one of the NFL's most feared pass-rushers and one of the organization's greatest players; ninth on the all-time NFL sack list (1261/2) at the time of his death; set single game sack record in 1990, sacking Seattle's Dave Krieg seven times; small for his position, Thomas was effective due to a surprisingly quick first step and blazing speed; played 11 seasons in the NFL; had 558 career tackles and 45 forced fumbles; holds team records for sacks, safeties and fumble recoveries; named Chiefs MVP in 1991 and 1994; won league sack title in 1990; received the NFL's two most prestigious humanitarian awards: NFL Man of the Year (1993) and Byron "Whizzer" White Humanitarian Award (1995); consensus defensive player of the year in 1989 after being drafted fourth overall by Kansas City; All-American at Alabama where he set a career records for sacks (52); a car accident on Jan. 23 left him paralyzed from the chest down. He died of a massive blood clot while in the hospital recovering from surgery.

Died: Miami, Feb. 8

Bill ThomasR - ZDuane Thomas