Report: Ex-NFL player Current, 66, dies

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Former NFL player Michael Current was found dead in an Oregon wildlife refuge from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound one day before he was scheduled to face charges of sexual abuse.

Michael Current

Michael Current.

Marion County Sheriff

Current, 66, was expected to appear in court Tuesday to enter a plea on five charges of first-degree sexual abuse and luring a minor, the Statesman Journal reported.

The former NFL lineman reportedly shot himself Monday at the Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, about 25 miles (40km) west of Salem.

Current's body was found on a viewing platform inside the park at around 9:00am local time by off-duty paramedics, according to the Journal.

An Ohio native, Current played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins. Current was drafted by the Broncos in the third round of the 1967 AFL/NFL Draft.

"We are always saddened to learn of a tragedy involving a former Bronco, and our hearts go out to Mike's family and friends during this most difficult time," the Broncos said in a statement issued Tuesday.

According to the Journal, Current, who lived in Las Vegas, served as a youth football coach in Silverton, Ore., about 15 miles east of Salem, during the mid-2000s.


Remembering the many athletes sports lost way too soon.

"He was an awesome guy, and all he wanted to do was help kids in his community," vice president of Silverton Pop Warner youth football Jim McIntire told the Journal. "The kids absolutely loved him."

Current also worked as a school bus driver in Oregon from July 2003 until he left in March 2010, Jen Biddinger, a spokeswoman for bus transportation service First Student, told the paper.

The six-foot-five, 274-pound lineman became an author during his post-football career, penning a memoir of his days on the field, entitled, "Rememberin' Life in the Trenches." He also wrote a mystery novel, called "Bush Justice," published in 2002.

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