Three years ago today, Steve McNair was murdered

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Three years ago today, only three days in to our partnership with NBC, a slow July 4 afternoon was shattered by the news that former Oilers/Titans and Ravens quarterback Steve McNair had been found dead.

It turned out, officially, to be a murder-suicide, with McNair’s 20-year-old girlfriend deemed to have shot McNair and then herself.

Questions regarding that conclusion persisted for months, especially since McNair was shot four times — execution-style — by a girl who supposedly had bought a gun from a convicted felon only two days earlier.  But with no hard proof that it was a double murder (and possibly no inclination by the Nashville authorities to declare that someone who had committed a double homicide remained at large) the case eventually faded from public consciousness.

The Oilers made McNair the third pick in the 1995 draft, and he spent 11 years with the franchise, through its move from Houston to Tennessee and its name change from Oilers to Titans.  After the Titans made Vince Young the third pick in the 2006 draft, they eventually traded McNair to Baltimore, where he served as the starter for two seasons.

The three-time Pro Bowler shared the league MVP award with Peyton Manning in 2003.  He nearly led the Titans to victory against the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV.