Former UW star Reggie Rogers found dead

by: Casey McNerthney, KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:


SEATTLE - Reggie Rogers, a former University of Washington football All-American and first-round NFL draft pick, died Thursday morning in Seattle.

Medics were called about 12:45 p.m. to the 2700 block of East Yesler Way. Rogers, 49, wasn’t breathing and unresponsive. Police were called, and he was declared dead at the scene, authorities said. Investigators told KIRO 7 it was a suspected overdose.

Earlier this month, Rogers was arrested for investigation of domestic violence assault and his case was ongoing. He had pleaded not guilty.

Rogers had a troubled life after his time at the University of Washington. A year after being drafted by the Detroit Lions, Rogers killed three teenagers in a DUI crash. His criminal history includes six DUI convictions.

About 11:45 p.m. on Oct. 7, police said Rogers’ wife awoke to him yelling at the television. She told police Rogers started yelling at her, saying she was trying to kill him by asking him about drinking alcohol. He then ordered her to go get him beer from the garage.

Rogers grabbed the 56-year-old woman by the collar of her bathrobe, pulled her to him and struck her on top of the head with a flashlight, according to the police incident report. As she left through the kitchen door, Rogers threw the flashlight at her, police were told.

She called 911 instead of getting the beer and ran across the street when Rogers came to check on her, police said.

Police found Rogers walking near the home. He said he went for a walk instead of arguing and that the woman was upset about another woman who had called him.

In the incident report, police noted the difference between Rogers and his wife. Rogers is listed as 6-foot-6 and 290 pounds; the woman is 4-foot-10 and 119 pounds.

Rogers entered a not guilty plea Oct. 9 in Seattle Municipal Court. He had a domestic violence pre-custody hearing scheduled for Monday, Oct. 28.

Rogers was waived in 1989 because he had broken his neck in the collision that killed the teenagers. His blood-alcohol content was more than double the legal limit in that crash, and Rogers was sentenced to 16 months in prison for vehicular homicide. Rogers returned to the NFL after prison, but was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1992.

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