Shane Dronett

Born: Jan. 12, 1971 in Orange, Texas

Died: Jan. 21, 2009

Shane Dronett was born in Orange, Texas and attended

high school in Bridge City. Attending the University of

Texas at Austin on a football scholarship, Dronett was

named All-American in 1991 and was drafted by the

Denver Broncos out of college in the second round of

the 1992 NFL draft. He played in all 16

games his rookie season and had 6.5 sacks.

 

After playing with the Broncos for three seasons, he

left for the Atlanta Falcons in 1996, and after four games

joined the Detroit Lions. After the Lions released Dronett

at the end of the 1997 season, he was rehired by the

Falcons and their new head coach Dan Reeves, who had

originally drafted Dronett to play for the Broncos. As a

lineman he played a significant role in the Falcon's

defense, which ranked second in the NFL against the

run and were the NFC champions, playing the Broncos

in Super Bowl XXXIII. In January 2000, Dronett

signed a five-year $20 million-dollar contract but was

released from the Falcons in 2003 after suffering a torn

ACL and several knee and shoulder problems.

 

In 2007, Dronett was diagnosed with a benign brain

tumor. Both before and after its removal, he suffered

from severe mental illness. Following his death in

2009 scientists also determined that Dronett suffered

from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain

disease associated with football players who endure

repeated impacts to the head.