MIAMI — Days before the Pro Football Hall of Fame welcomes a new class, it lost one of its members to cancer.
Chris Doleman, who had a 15-year career that was spent with the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers, died Tuesday after a battle with cancer. The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced his death. He was 58 years old.
We express our deepest sympathies to Chris Doleman’s family and friends upon his passing. pic.twitter.com/4smc4gn5PY
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) January 29, 2020
Doleman was one of the greatest pass rushers in NFL history, helping set a prototype for edge rushers in today’s game. He finished his career with 150.5 sacks, which ranks fifth all time. Doleman didn’t post fewer than seven sacks in any season from 1987-99. That remarkable run included three double-digit sack seasons in a row for the 49ers, the final one coming when he was 37.
Doleman is best known for his time with the Vikings. Doleman, the fourth pick of the 1985 draft out of Pitt, played 10 years with the Vikings from 1985-93 and his final season was in 1999. He also played two years with the Falcons and three for the 49ers. Doleman made eight Pro Bowls.
According to NFL.com, Doleman had surgery in January 2018 to remove a brain tumor and battled glioblastoma, an aggressive cancer that begins in the brain, over the next two years.
Doleman was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.
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