On this day in 2007, Redskins safety Sean Taylor died at the age of 24.
He’d been shot the prior day by intruders who believed they’d be robbing an empty home. But Taylor was there, with his girlfriend and their young daughter.
Earlier this month, Eric Rivera Jr. was found guilty of second-degree murder in connection with Taylor’s death. Another man has pleaded guilty, and three others await trial.
Taylor’s daughter, Jackie, is now seven. Taylor died after he’d matured into someone who was prepared to embrace the obligations and challenges of being an adult.
“It’s hard to expect a man to grow up overnight,” teammate Clinton Portis (pictured) said in the aftermath of Taylor’s passing. “But ever since he had his child, it was like a new Sean, and everybody around here knew it. He was always smiling, always happy, always talking about his child.”
“He was kind of a wild child, like myself,” former University of Miami teammate Jeremy Shockey said. “But life changed for Sean after he had his baby girl. Fatherhood really changed him. He grew up and matured.”
Taylor would still be in his NFL prime today, cementing what would have been Hall of Fame credentials.