BALTIMORE — A beloved Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl champion has died, the team announced Wednesday.
Tony Siragusa, who played for the Ravens from 1997 until 2001, died in his sleep, according to Aaron Wilson with the Pro Football Network. He was 55 years old.
Ravens' owners Steve and Renee Bisciotti said they are "stunned and heartbroken" to learn about the death of Siragusa, a key cog on the Ravens' strong defense.
“He was a special person and clearly one of the most popular players in Ravens history. Tony’s larger-than-life personality made an enormous impact on our organization and throughout the Baltimore community," Steve and Renee Bisciotti said in a statement. "On the football field, Goose was a difference-maker who contributed immeasurably to the success of many great Ravens defenses, including the record-setting 2000 Super Bowl team. Our deepest prayers and sympathies go out to Kathy, their three children and the rest of the Siragusa family.
“This is a tremendously sad day for the Baltimore Ravens. We appreciate everyone who has expressed an outpouring of support for our players, coaches and staff.”
Jim Irsay, owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts, who signed Siragusa out of college went to social media to share his condolences.
"The Goose,Tony Siragusa has passed away at 55. I’m heart broken as is all of Colts Nation," Irsay said.
Siragusa was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh in 1990. He played in Indianapolis until he joined the Ravens in 1997.
Siragusa, a massive defensive lineman, helped lead the Ravens to championship in Super Bowl XXXV in 2001. He started, and had one tackle, in the Ravens 34-7 win over the New York Giants.
He retired the following season.
“Goose was quite a character, but he was one of our leaders on the 2000 Super Bowl team. He was probably one of the best run-stoppers to play for our defense over the years. My heart breaks for Kathy, Samantha, Anthony Jr. and Ava. They are in my prayers," former Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said.
In his career, Siragusa tallied 562 tackles, 22 sacks and nine fumble recoveries.
He followed his NFL career by working as a Fox NFL sideline reporter and analyst.
"There was no one like Goose – a warrior on the field and a team unifier with a giving, generous heart who helped teammates and the community more than most people know," former Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "We would not have won the Super Bowl without him. This is such stunning, sad news, and our hearts go out to Kathy and the Siragusa family.”
Siragusa was married and had three children.
“This is a tough one. I love Goose like a brother," said former Ravens teammate Ray Lewis. "From the first day we met, I knew that life was different. I knew he was someone who would change my life forever. He was a one-of-a-kind person who made you feel important and special. You can never replace a man like that."
“On the field, he was the ultimate competitor who brought out the best in all of us."
“We should never put off tomorrow for what we can do today. Hug your loved ones for Goose. We were all so blessed that God gave us that time together celebrating our 2000 team a few weeks ago."
“To the Siragusa family: We have lost a great man, but God has gained a great angel. May they be blessed, held and comforted by the peace he brought to everyone who encountered him.”
His death follows the sudden report that current Raven Jaylon Ferguson was found dead in his North Baltimore home.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott shared his statement:
"My heart is with Tony Siragusa's loved ones as well. This has been a tough day for our Ravens family. I will never forget watching that 2000 Ravens team win the Super Bowl with the best defense to ever grace the NFL, and Tony was an integral part of that history-making defensive front/ They brought pride and recognition to Baltimore, and we are forever grateful for that."
Siragusa's former teammates and coaches released these statements:
Matt Stover: “I am sorry to lose such a great teammate and friend. I truly believe that the Super Bowl XXXV team would have never been as good as it was without Tony. He not only plugged up the middle, but his locker room presence created a loose environment when things were tight. He will be missed, but not forgotten.”
Rod Woodson: “Tony was always the life of the party. I know he loved his family and friends. My feelings are overwhelmed right now with grief for his family.”
Jamal Lewis: “Goose was one of the most humble and funniest guys I knew. I can remember his locker being next to mine on gameday. He was never bothered and enjoyed life. While I had butterflies in my stomach, he was cracking jokes and pumping me up at the same time. Glad we got a chance to be together one last time for the Super Bowl XXXV celebration. He will be truly missed.”
Sam Adams: “It was an honor and a privilege to line up next to Tony Siragusa. He made the game fun and was a true competitor. Our D-line room was special on and off the field. May he rest easy, and may God bless and keep his family.”
Marvin Lewis: “First of all, my deepest condolences to Tony’s family. With Tony as a friend and teammate, you needed no other. He played and lived life to the fullest. He always reminded me to ‘have fun.’ This is a very sad day.”