Former NFL punter Rick Tuten dies at 52

Rick Tuten, a punter who went to a Pro Bowl with the Seahawks and won a Super Bowl ring with the Rams, has died at the age of 52.

According to the Ocala Star Banner, Tuten died unexpectedly in Costa Rica. There is no information about his cause of death.

Tuten grew up in Florida and began his college football career at Miami, winning a national championship and even serving as a backup quarterback to Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde, although Tuten never played quarterback in a game. After two years at Miami, Tuten transferred to Florida State, where he played two more seasons.

After bouncing around the NFL for a few years and playing briefly for the Eagles and Bills, Tuten found his greatest success in Seattle, where he was a Pro Bowler in 1994 and would later be chosen the punter on the Seahawks’ all-time team. Tuten called himself a “frustrated linebacker,” and teammates recalled that he really wanted to be a football player, and not just a punter.

“Rick was the first kicker that actually had ‘guns,’” Former Seahawks special teams captain Paul Moyer said. “He wanted to be a football player and he was a pretty good athlete. He lifted as hard as most of the players.”

Tuten left the Seahawks for the Rams in 1998 and won a Super Bowl ring with the Rams in 1999, although he was injured and didn’t play in the game.

Tuten is survived by his wife and three children.