Former NFL offensive tackle Mario Henderson passed away on Wednesday due to still unknown causes. He was 35 years old.
Henderson’s high school and college teammate at Lehigh Acres and Florida State James Chaney broke the unfortunate news about his untimely death.
On behalf of the Lehigh Football Program I would like to extend my condolences to the family of our Brother, Lehigh Lightning & Florida State Seminole GREAT, Mr. Mario Henderson! #BoltUp #RestInPeace #Noleforever pic.twitter.com/FIkam787X0
— COACHCHANEY.COM (@coachchaney96) October 21, 2020
The Las Vegas Raiders have expressed their condolences in a statement and remembered Henderson for his contributions to the team, on and off the field (via NBC Sports).
“Everyone will miss Mario’s sense of humor and passion for football and life. The prayers of the entire Raider Nation are with Mario’s family and loved ones at this time.”
A third round pick by the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 NFL Draft, Mario Henderson played four seasons for the Silver and Black. After playing just a single game in his rookie year, he got more minutes as he was plugged in as a starter in his sophomore year. He got more burn time in his next two seasons, appearing in all of the team’s 32 games from 2009 to 2010.
Henderson spent some time with the San Diego Chargers in 2012 before eventually finding his way to the United Football League, where he played for four different teams until 2015.
The Fort Myers News-Press called the 330-pound Henderson a “gentle giant.” After his short career, he most recently worked with special needs students at Dunbar High School in Fort Myers, Florida and served as an assistant coach on the football team.
Henderson earned his degree from Florida State in 2018.
Some of Henderson’s friends shared their fond memories of him on Chaney’s post on Twitter.
Damn, Mario was my teammate when we’re both at Verot, he was so funny and a great mate. Remember thinking he was super human at 15. He set a wing eating record at my parents restaurant….before practice. Rip 75.
— Max Haney (@VFH2020) October 21, 2020
Heartbroken. He was a good person, always good to us in the Equipment Room at the Raiders the 4 years he was there. Praying for his kids and the whole family. #SuperMario #RIP #RaiderNation lost a good man.
— Wale (@walefela) October 21, 2020