A former NFL player was found dead July 17 by police officers conducting a “welfare check” at a nearby Hampton Inn.
Former NFL wide receiver Charles Johnson had been declared missing by his wife the day before he was found, according to a USA Today report.
He had reportedly checked into a Hampton Inn about 6.5 miles from his Raleigh, N.C., home. Law enforcement were reportedly called by a member of the hotel staff to check on him around 1:25 p.m. after he did not check out. The Hampton Inn’s normal checkout time is noon, according to its website.
Police have not listed an official cause of death yet but ruled out foul play, according to the report.
Johnson, 50, enjoyed a nine-year professional football career that included playing on the New England Patriots when they won the February 2002 Super Bowl. He was selected as the number one pick in the first-round of the 1994 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Off the field, Johnson was perpetually upbeat, the kind of player teammates enjoyed being around both on and off the field,” the Steelers organization said in a statement. “The player known as CJ was a particular favorite of [Kordell] Stewart, who regularly referred to Johnson as his favorite receiver once he became the full-time starting quarterback in 1997.”
Johnson played in 76 regular season games for the Steelers. He started 58 games, making 247 receptions totaling 3,400 yards that included 15 touchdowns. He added another 11 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown during six postseason games.
His best season as a Steeler was 1996 when he caught 60 passes for 1,008 yards and scored three touchdowns.
According to the USA Today report, he recently worked as an assistant athletic director at Heritage High School, in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
Johnson helped start the Heritage High Huskies’ program with athletic director Pat Kennedy, according to New York Post report. The report added they both transitioned from nearby Wakefield High School.
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