Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Former Panthers first-round pick Rashard Anderson dies at 45

Carolina Panthers' Rashard Anderson celebrates a t

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 27: Carolina Panthers’ Rashard Anderson celebrates a tackle during the first quarter of their 27 November 2000 game against the Green Bay Packers at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo credit should read ERIK PEREL/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Rashard Anderson, a first-round draft pick of the Panthers in 2000, has died at the age of 45.

After a stellar college career at Jackson State, Anderson played in 27 games in two seasons for the Panthers before he was suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He never played again after that, with the Panthers cutting him after he was reinstated and no other team giving him a shot. He briefly signed with the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders but didn’t make the roster.

Although his NFL career fell short of expectations, he was mourned at Jackson State as one of their all-time great players.

Today is a sad day for the JSU family,” Jackson State Athletic Director Ashley Robinson said. “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.”

No cause of death has been reported.