The 30-year-old reportedly drove his car at speeds near 100 mph when he collided into the back of a tractor-trailer, which subsequently toppled his vehicle into oncoming traffic. Howard’s action was responsible for the death of a 55-year-old man as well.
Howard’s death came less than a week after he was released by the Atlanta Falcons. The son of a former NFL player, the Texas native logged five seasons with the Oakland Raiders and two with the Cincinnati Bengals. Howard made 78 starts in 95 games.
Howard was drafted 38th overall by the Raiders out of UTEP in 2006, as owner/general manager Al Davis coveted the outside linebacker for his outstanding range and playmaking potential. Howard collected a career-high 110 tackles as a rookie and recorded six interceptions the year after, but his marginal instincts never allowed him to make the leap to a Pro Bowl-caliber defender.
After the Raiders cut ties, the Bengals recruited Howard in to start in 2011, but he lost his starting job after tearing an ACL in 2012 and being replaced by Vontaze Burfict. Howard never played a down for the Falcons, and he will be remembered as a selfless individual.
Photo Credit: Elpasotimes.com