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Gaines Adams dead at 26

We have some tragic news to pass along before this Sunday of football begins.

Bears defensive end Gaines Adams has died at the age of 26, according to the Greenville News in South Carolina. NBC4 in Greenville confirms the report.

Greenwood County Coroner James T. Coursey said Adams was declared dead at 9AM after he was taken to an emergency room Sunday morning.

Adams was born in Greenwood, South Carolina and played his college football at Clemson. He was drafted fourth overall by the Bucs in 2007, then traded to the Bears last year.

Coursey said Adams appeared to be in perfect health and there will be an an investigation by the Greenwood Sheriff’s Office and the Greenwood County Coroner’s Office. An autopsy will be performed Sunday; the cause of death is unclear.

We send our best wishes and condolences to Adams’ family.

UPDATE: We’re told that the cause of death is believed to be a heart attack.