Former Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Mario Henderson has died, the Las Vegas Raiders announced on Wednesday. He was 35 years old. The cause of death was not given, but the Las Vegas Raiders released a statement on his death.
"The Raiders Family is heavy-hearted following the passing of Mario Henderson, who was a third-round draft pick and played four seasons with the Silver and Black," the team said. "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." The NFL Players Association also released a statement on Henderson. Other former players also paid tribute to him on social media.
My heart is hurting right now. Just heard that my friend and FSU teammate Mario Henderson passed away. Mario was always a joy to talk to and always brought laughter wherever he went. I’m going to miss you Big Cuz. pic.twitter.com/13EiQ0bkXS— Graham Gano (@GrahamGano) October 21, 2020
"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mario Henderson," the NFLPA wrote on Twitter. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. Rest In Peace." Henderson played four seasons with the Raiders after playing college football at Florida State. He signed with the San Diego Chargers in 2012 but didn't play in a game. In his four seasons with the Raiders, Henderson played in 44 games with 28 starts. He started in every game in 2009, a season where the Raiders finished with a 5-11 record and scored a total of 197 points. In 2018, Henderson announced he was graduating from Florida State after re-enrolling in 2016.
"I used to watch other kids grow up with parents and doing family things and vacations that I never did," Henderson wrote in a Facebook message in 2018 via News-Press.com. "I never had the newest shoes, clothes or toys growing up. Despite the unfair hand life tried to deal me I Trusted in God and remained Focused. I decided to return back to college after being out for 10 years." He went to say school "was never my strong suit; I struggled and was once academically dismissed from FSU." He then added that in the mail he received one of my life's greatest accomplishments," referring to his diploma.