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Former NFL linebacker Kevin Mitchell dies at 36

ASHBURN, Va. (April 30, 2007) -- Former NFL linebacker Kevin Mitchell died in his sleep at the age of 36.

Mitchell died overnight Sunday at his home in Ashburn, near the Washington Redskins' training facility, according to the team. An autopsy was performed Monday by the Virginia state medical examiner's office. The cause of death was not immediately announced.

Mitchell was drafted in the second round out of Syracuse in 1994 by the San Francisco 49ers, who moved the undersized college defensive lineman to linebacker.

He played with San Francisco until 1997, then signed with New Orleans (1998-99). He played his final four seasons (2000-03) with the Redskins.

"Anyone who knew him was touched by his smile, joy for life and love of his family," Washington owner Dan Snyder said. "Anyone who ever played with him or against him never forgot it. He earned our deepest respect."

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