Tragedy: Former NE Patriots defensive end Ron Brace dies at age 29

Former New England Patriots star Ron Brace has died aged 29.

Former New England Patriots player Ron Brace (pictured in 2010) has died aged 29The defensive end died at his home in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Saturday. His cause of death is not yet known.

An investigation into his death is ongoing but police are not treating it as suspicious.

Brace was a standout player at Boston College and was drafted by the Patriots in 2009. He went on to play 39 times for the team over four seasons.

He was released in 2012 and went on to sign for the Washington Redskins the next year, although he never played for them and left the NFL in late 2013.

Tributes poured in for the 6ft 3ins, 330 pound tackle after his death was confirmed by his family on Sunday.

‘We were deeply saddened to hear the news this morning of Ron Brace’s death,’ a statement from the Patriots said.

‘Seven years ago, we drafted Ron after his standout career at Boston College.

‘During his Patriots career, the Springfield native was always eager to volunteer and give back in our communities, especially when those community initiatives were held in Western Mass.

‘It is difficult to believe that someone so young and in the prime of his life is no longer with us.

‘Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ron’s family, friends and the many former teammates who will mourn Ron’s passing.’

Boston College, where Brace spent five years before making the draft, also paid tribute to their former star player.

The defensive end (pictured in 2010) died at his home in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Saturday. His cause of death is not yet known

‘We’re shocked and saddened at the loss of our great Ron Brace,’ a spokesman said.

‘The entire BC family’s hearts are heavy. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.’

Former teammates and coaches also paid their respects to Brace, who was known for his ‘contagious smile’.

Al Washington, who played with Brace at college and is now a coach there, said: ‘Words cannot express how deeply saddened I am at the loss of my teammate my friend and my brother Ron Brace. Rest easy with the Lord Big Baby! Love you.’

He added that Brace had recently mentioned that he was interested in becoming a coach and helping other promising football players make the cut.

Former Patriots player Zoltan Mesko tweeted: ‘RIP Ron Brace. One of the nicest people I came across in my life. Always laughed at my terrible jokes. Thanks for all the great times Ron.’

Talented: Brace was a standout player at Boston College and was drafted by the Patriots in 2009

Rodney Harrison, who twice won the Super Bowl with the Patriots, said: ‘So heartbroken for Ron Brace and his family. We will be praying and lifting them up. God bless.’

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who played with Brace at Boston College, posted: ‘Saddened to hear about the passing of friend and former teammate Ron Brace. His smile was contagious. Thoughts and prayers to his family.’

Baltimore Ravens star Eugene Monroe said: ‘RIP Ron Brace, gone too soon.’

Fellow Ravens player and former Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson tweeted: ‘Saddened to hear of the death of former teammate Ron Brace. Prayers with his family, BC and the Patriot Organization.’

Carolina Hurricanes hockey player Nathan Gerbe wrote: ‘My thoughts and prayers go out to Ron Brace and his family, such a kind man. RIP big guy.’

Brace is the third former Patriot to die this year. Fullback Kevin Turner, who suffered from ALS, died aged 46 and defensive end Julius Adams also died aged 67.

Source: The DailyMail

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