Former Carolina Panther Rashard Anderson Passes Away At 45

Former Carolina Panthers cornerback and first-round pick Rashard Anderson passed away on Wednesday, as announced by the team.

Anderson died at the age of 45. No official cause of death has been announced.

The Panthers selected Anderson with the 23rd overall pick in the 2000 draft. He spent two seasons with Carolina and started nine games.

Anderson appeared in 27 total games for the Panthers, tallying 65 tackles and one interception.

He was suspended by the NFL for an entire year heading into his third season due to a substance abuse violation. He never returned to the League after his suspension.

Anderson tried out for the CFL's Calgary Stampeders in 2005 but did not make the 40-man roster.

After stepping away from football, Anderson found work as a substitute teacher and as an assistant football coach for Callaway High School and Murrah High School.

Anderson was a standout cornerback at Jackson State between 1996 and 1999. His alma mater posted a tribute on Wednesday via Twitter.

"Today is a sad day for the JSU family," announced Ashley Robinson, Jackson State AD and vice president.

"Rashard was one of the best players in the history of our football program and an outstanding person. He attended our spring football game in April and was excited about the program returning to championship status. Rashard will always be remembered by Jackson State University, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."

Written by

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan. Known for having watched every movie and constant craving for dessert. @alejandroaveela (on X)