Junior Siavii, a former NFL player who spent time with three different teams, was found dead in prison last week, according to PEOPLE. He was 43 years old. Siavii was in prison in Kansas while awaiting trial for federal gun and drug trafficking charges. Anna Armijo, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons told The Kansas City Star that Siavii was found unresponsive in the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas on Thursday afternoon.
Siavii was treated by prison staff before he was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. No further details were revealed at the time, but Armijo said that staff and other inmates were not injured in the incident. Siavii was arrested in August 2019 on suspicion of illegal firearms possession, according to NBC Sports. He was later named as part of a methamphetamine drug trafficking conspiracy in Missouri.
Siavii was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He was with the Chiefs for two seasons before being cut by the Chiefs in 2006 due to multiple knee injuries. After being away for football for two years, Siavii signed with the Dallas Cowboys in January 2008. He spent two seasons with the Cowboys before signing with the Seattle Seahawks in 2010. He suffered a spinal cord injury on December 23 of that year and was released by the Seahawks before the start of the 2011 season.
"It was rough for him," Siavii's former teammate at Oregon Enoka Lucas told The Oregonian in 2009 when Siavii signed with the Cowboys. "Once you get into the league you just feel like you'll be in it for a while and then it's taken away from you. I'm sure he regrets what he has done. I definitely think that he has learned and I think he's matured a lot."
"I'm happy, I missed it," Siavii said at the time. "There was a point where I thought it was over." Siavii finished his NFL career with 56 tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery. During his time at Oregon, Siavii was named to the All-Pac 10 Honorable mention during his senior year and finished his career with 58 tackles, 2.5 sacks a fumble recovery and three passes defended.