Duerson recently filed for bankruptcy

Duerson recently filed for bankruptcy

Published Feb. 22, 2011 12:00 a.m. ET

Former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, who killed himself Thursday, had filed for bankruptcy last September, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

Duerson, who was found dead at his home in Miami with a gunshot wound to the chest, claimed $14.7 million in liabilities, mostly connected to his company, Duerson Foods LLC, which was forced into receivership in 2006.

Duerson reported $34.6 million in assets stemming from a 2004 judgment his company won but never collected.

In December, Duerson's ex-wife, Alicia Duerson, said the former Bears' defensive back still owed her $70,000 and accused him of withholding certain assets, including his two Super Bowl rings and a large bronze trophy he received for winning the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 1987.

Duerson first acknowledged his financial troubles in 2007 after a foreclosure action had been initiated against his home, which he mortgaged to help keep his company afloat, according to the Tribune.

Duerson, 50, starred at Notre Dame and played for the legendary Bears defense that powered the team to a victory in Super Bowl XX. He was elected to four straight Pro Bowls from 1986 to 1989 and also won a second Super Bowl with the 1990-91 New York Giants.

In a text message sent to loved ones before his death, Duerson asked that his brain be removed to study chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease common to boxers, football players and others who experience multiple concussions and head injuries.