Former Washington Redskins quarterback Colt Brennan died at the age of 37 on Tuesday.
Brennan, a sixth-round pick in 2008 out of Hawaii, played for Washington for two seasons, appearing only in the preseason. During his rookie year, Brennan led all first-year signal-callers in the preseason in passing yards, touchdowns and quarterback rating. He was released in 2010, following Washington’s acquisition of John Beck.
Brennan, who had public struggles with alcohol, died at a hospital in California, his father, Terry Brennan, told The Associated Press. Hawaii News Now first reported Brennan‘s death and it was later confirmed by the AP.
“He just spent one too many times on the dark side of life, and it caught up with him,” Terry Brennan said to the AP about his son.
At Hawaii, Brennan was a three-year starter — breaking or tying 31 NCAA records with his big arm. In 2007, he finished third in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, the first for a Hawaii passer. That year, he led Hawaii to an undefeated regular season and became the NCAA’s all-time leader in touchdown passes. The record has since been broken.
He led the nation in 2006 in several categories, including total offense (422.5), touchdown passes (58), and passing efficiency (185.96).
In 2006, he set a then-school record for 569 yards passing against Arizona State University in a bowl game. He finished his career with 20 games with 400 or more yards and four games with 500 or more yards. He had a school record 131 touchdowns from 2005 to 2007.
Brennan also spent time with the Oakland Raiders before playing in the UFL, CFL and AFL.
Brennan had been living at an addiction treatment center in Costa Mesa, California, and Terry Brennan said his son also had been a big user of marijuana. Terry Brennan took him to a hospital emergency room on Sunday because his son had been drinking.
“I could tell he was not well and needed help,” Terry Brennan said.
But the detox facility was full, so without his family realizing it, Colt Brennan was released. He was unconscious when he was taken back to the hospital, where he later died, his father said.
“They released him out on the street and either he made a call or he got Uber or something,” Terry Brennan said. “And now this is what we’re dealing with.”
He was surrounded by family members when he died.
“His sisters made sure he had the Bob Marley music going by his side,” Terry Brennan said of the reggae his son was fond of from his time in Hawaii. “They had a lei around his chest.”
His family hopes that toxicology results and an autopsy — including tests on his brain to determine if there was degeneration from repeated head trauma — will give them answers.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.
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