Paul Oliver, who played 57 games for the Chargers from 2007-11, is dead at age 29.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Oliver committed suicide, citing "three independent sources close to Oliver" in its report that he took his own life.
It's too soon to know why Oliver committed suicide. And it really doesn't matter at the moment; it's just a sad, tragic day for Oliver's family, friends and a Chargers team that has dealt with a lot of horrible news in recent years. The most notable Chargers tragedy was when Junior Seau took his own life in 2012. Now Oliver reportedly has as well.
Statement from Paul Oliver's family: "We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers. We request privacy in the wake of this tragic loss." — Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) September 25, 2013
Here's the Chargers' statement:
“Everyone in the Chargers family is sad today after hearing the news about Paul. He was part of our family for five years. At just 29 years old, he still had a lifetime in front of him. Right now all of our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this most difficult time.”
Oliver played at the University of Georgia, and his finest moment came when he was the primary defender on Georgia Tech receiver and future NFL star Calvin Johnson, and held Johnson to two catches and 13 yards. Georgia coach Mark Richt was also devastated by the news.
"It's heartbreaking for me personally, for our staff, for the Bulldog Nation I'm sure, and obviously for his family," Richt told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I'm just, I mean I was just crushed this morning when I heard it, quite frankly. I really haven't been able to keep it off my mind, to be honest with you.
"We've got to find a way to reach out and help in any way we can. I hope there is some way the Bulldog Nation can rally around that family, I hope everybody would be encouraged to do so."
Oliver also had a brief stint with the Saints in his NFL career. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.