Over sixteen months after the shocking suicide of legendary linebacker Junior Seau, another devastating loss has rocked the Chargers franchise.
Paul Oliver, 29, a Georgia alum who played four seasons with the San Diego Chargers, was found dead on Wednesday.
Details aren't fully known or verified, but initial word from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune is that it was a suicide.
The Chargers used a fourth-round pick in the 2007 Supplemental Draft to select Oliver, after Oliver was ruled academically ineligible to continue at Georgia. During his three years with the Bulldogs, the safety was credited with seven interceptions, three sacks, five forced fumbles, and 74 solo tackles.
Oliver made his Chargers debut in 2008, recording the first of 96 career tackles against Kansas City in November. His first career interception came on December 28, when he picked off then-Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler.
Oliver's finest season came in 2009. Though he started in only three games, Oliver recorded an interception, three deflected passes, and 42 total tackles. He also garned the only sack of his career, on Donovan McNabb of the Eagles, and also scored his only career touchdown off of a Matt Cassel fumble.
After briefly signing with the Saints in the 2011 offseason, Oliver ended up back in San Diego on September 21 that year. It was there that Oliver recorded his final interception on November 10, against the Raiders.
A free agent after 2011, Oliver's career stats included four interceptions, three fumble recoveries, one sack, one defensive touchdown, and 96 total tackles in 57 games (12 starts).
The Chargers released the following statement Wednesday: “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.”