Former NFL QB John Reaves dies at 67

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Former NFL quarterback John Reaves has passed away at the age of 67.

According to the Associated Press, Reaves was found dead at his home Tuesday in Hillsborough County, Fla. The cause of death is being investigated.

Reaves spent 11 years in the NFL after being a first-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1972 our of the University of Florida. He also played with the Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings and Houston Oilers before phasing out of the league after the 1981 season. However, he returned as a player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the strike in 1987.

Reaves dealt with drug and alcohol dependency at various stages of life, including being arrested on gun and drug possession charges in 2008.

Reaves starred at Florida and left the school as the NCAA’s career passing leader with 7,581 yards and an SEC-record 54 touchdowns.

3 responses to “Former NFL QB John Reaves dies at 67

  1. For those of us who remember, John Reaves was the first and most successful QB for the Tampa Bay Bandits of the short lived USFL. He ran an offense that was known as Banditball which was an early no-huddle, fast paced and high scoring offense developed by head coach Steve Spurrier.

    He definitely made spring football fun to watch!! R.I.P. #7.

  2. I remember watching Reaves play in college and briefly in the NFL. It’s too bad he passed away at this relatively early age.

    But let’s not forget that Reaves was a divorced father of three and had this in his in his past as well:

    “Mr. Reaves battled drug and alcohol problems throughout adulthood. He lectured children about his problems — including a $1,000-a-day cocaine habit, two drunk driving arrests and a marijuana possession — and found redemption through religion and real estate sales. In 2008, he was arrested on gun and cocaine charges.”

    It’s clear that Reeves made many bad decisions in his life. We tend to gloss over people’s faults when they pass away, especially at a relatively early age. We want to remember the good in them, and people are doing that with Reaves.

    Reaves’ death is a tragedy and he’s another in the long line of people who allowed drugs and alcohol to take control of their lives for long periods of time. That’s a shame and it’s probably a contributor to his early passing.

    I feel most sorry for his ex-wife and children, because they lived with the man and were no doubt affected by his demons.
    Reaves was also a plaintiff in the law suit against the NFL for post concussion symptoms and his family says they will donate his brain for study to see if he had CTE.

  3. I know that it has been over 30 years, but you have to remember that Reeves had a very good 3 year career in the usfl. There were more player than just kelly, young, white, and flutie. He deserves to be recognized for that and so do other players from that league. I am sad to hear that reeves died. He ran the “Bandit Ball” offense!!! That league was a part of my childhood and was awesome.

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