Rashaan Salaam was an American football player best remembered as a running back in NFL during the 1990s when he played for the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns. He also played football at the University of Colorado and was a member of the Colorado Buffaloes football team. Having been a unanimous first-team All-American, Salaam was the youngest footballer in the NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards. He was the winner of 1994 Heisman Trophy as well as the ‘Sporting News Player of the Year’. He also won the Doak Walker Award and Walter Camp Award during his career. In addition, the great American football player was honoured with the title ‘NFC Rookie of the Year’ in 1995. He was also inducted into the Colorado University's Athletic Hall of Fame. Unfortunately Salaam died in December 2016, of an apparent suicide, at the age of 42.
From 1992 to 1994, Rashaan Salaam played for the Colorado Buffaloes football team at the University of Colorado. As a junior in 1994, he experienced one of the best individual seasons in the college football history, running for more than 2,000 yards in a season. At college, Salaam was a unanimous first-team All-American and also the winner of the prestigious Heisman Trophy.
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From 1995 to 1997, Salaam played for Chicago Bears. His problems with injuries and marijuana use marred his performances during his time with the team. During his last two years with the Bears, Salaam mustered just 608 combined yards. He then spent the year 1999 with Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns. Then in 2001, the American footballer played for the Memphis Maniax of the XFL; however, his injuries cut his season short.
With his career failing miserably so far, he made his last attempt at an NFL career in 2002 and started training at the Cris Carter Speed School. In 2003, Salaam was picked up by the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately, the team let go of him in August that year. After this, he joined Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in February 2004. He was suspended this time as well, effectively ending his career in May.
Personal Life & Death
Rashaan Salaam was born as Rashaan Iman Salaam on October 8, 1974 in San Diego, California to Teddy Washington, who later changed his name to Sulton Salaam after converting to Islam. He had two siblings, Atiya Henry and Jabali Alaji. Salaam studied at La Jolla Country Day School and later on attended the University of Colorado.
On December 5, 2016, he was found dead in a park with a note near his body. After an autopsy, it was concluded that the cause of the footballer’s death was suicide by gunshot. The medical fraternity also wanted to conduct some neuropathological tests on his body but his family didn’t give consent to it as Islam prohibits dead bodies from being defiled.