Former Argo Chandler Williams dead at age 27
St. Louis Rams safety David Roach, top, gets his hand on the facemask of Atlanta Falcons kick-returner Chandler Williams during the third quarter of a preseason NFL football game Friday, Aug. 21, 2009, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
The Associated Press
Published Sunday, January 6, 2013 12:40PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 6, 2013 12:42PM EST
CHICAGO -- Arena Football League player and former Toronto Argonauts receiver Chandler Williams has died. He was 27.
The AFL said Sunday that Williams died while playing in a local flag football tournament in South Florida. The league did not release a cause of death.
The wide receiver was a seventh-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2007 out of Florida International. He got into NFL pre-season games in four seasons but never played in a regular-season game, also spending time with the Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs.
Williams had a brief stint with the Argonauts this past season.
In seven games, he caught four passes for 88 yards and added eight kickoff returns for 223 yards. Williams was released Oct. 4.
The CFL team issued a statement Sunday morning.
"The Toronto Argonauts Football Club would like send its deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones of former receiver Chandler Williams. He is remembered as a very positive young man who was well liked in the locker room. The entire organization is saddened to learn of his sudden passing," the statement said.
Williams caught 83 passes for 996 yards and 17 touchdowns while leading the AFL with a 23-yard kickoff return average for the Tampa Bay Storm last season.
Storm president Derrick Brooks said "we are shocked and saddened."
Williams is survived by his fiancee, Vanitia Harrigan, and a daughter, Tori Williams.