The NFL confirmed that Mallett, a former quarterback for the New England Patriots, Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens, drowned in Florida.
Former NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett has died after a drowning accident in Florida. Mallett was 35 years old.
The former QB for the New England Patriots, Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens, was vacationing in Destin, Florida and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico when he drowned on Tuesday afternoon.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Tuesday that Mallett’s next of kin had been notified.
Authorities said they responded to an emergency call at around 2:12 p.m. local time and discovered that a group of people who were stuck on a sandbar were “struggling” to make it back to the shore.
The sheriff’s office said a man went underwater, and lifeguards said he was not breathing after he was pulled out.
Emergency crews said lifesaving measures were attempted immediately after, but he was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The man was subsequently identified as Ryan Mallett.
Mallett was a head coach for White Hall High School in Arkansas.
ESPN reported that the school district where the former NFL player worked released a statement saying, “It is with great sadness that we share the loss of Coach Ryan Mallett.”
The school district said, “Mallett was a beloved coach and educator. We ask that you remember his family, team, students, fellow coaches, and the White Hall School District staff in your prayers.”
His former NFL team, the New England Patriots, said in a statement that the team is “deeply saddened to learn of the sudden and unexpected passing.”
The statement continued, “Our thoughts are with the Mallett family, his former teammates and all who are mourning his loss.”
Mallett was a third-round pick for the Patriots in the 2011 NFL Draft, where he stayed until the 2013 season before going on to be traded to the Houston Texans.
He finished his career with the Baltimore Ravens, where he played from 2015 to 2017. He played in eight games with the Ravens, passing for four touchdowns and 648 yards.
Players sent out their condolences on social media. Former Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith wrote on Twitter, “Prayers up for Ryan Mallet’s family. He was a solid dude!”
Former defensive end for the Texans, JJ Watt, wrote, “Horrible news to read about Ryan Mallett. Gone way too soon. Rest in Peace brother.”
Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek, wrote, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and teammates.”
While additional details surrounding the circumstances behind his drowning were still unclear, the Weather Channel reported on Tuesday that at least nine people have died off the coast of Florida panhandle beaches this month as the area deals with strong rip currents.
Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford told the outlet, “I’m beyond frustrated at the situation that we have with tragic and unnecessary deaths in the Gulf.”
In one day, recently, local police around Panama City Beach said there were at least 36 water rescues.
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