Jerry Mays (defensive lineman)

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Jerry Mays
No. 75
Position: Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: November 24, 1939
Place of birth: Dallas, Texas
Date of death: July 17, 1994(1994-07-17) (aged 54)
Place of death: Lake Lewisville, Texas
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 252 lb (114 kg)
Career information
College: Southern Methodist
NFL Draft: 1961 / Round: 11 / Pick: 141
AFL draft: 1961 / Round: 5 / Pick: 38
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Gerald Avery Mays (November 24, 1939 – July 17, 1994) was a football player who starred collegiately for Southern Methodist University before becoming a standout at the professional level for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Early years[edit]

Mays put together an all-state career at Sunset High School before heading to SMU, where he served as co-captain and earned All-Southwest Conference honors at defensive tackle.

A fifth round draft selection of the American Football League's Dallas Texans in 1961, Mays turned down the National Football League's Minnesota Vikings, in order to play near his home in Dallas. He soon became a force at defensive tackle on the Texans' line, continuing his dominance at defensive end when the team relocated in 1963 to become the Kansas City Chiefs.

Combining emotion and durability with a competitive nature, Mays was a six-time AFL All-Star, and was selected to the All-Star team at two different positions. He played in 126 straight games for the AFL Texans and Chiefs, and used his speed, agility and strong "second effort" to once recover and return a Jets' fumble 58 yards for a touchdown. His contribution to the Chiefs' strong defense helped them defeat the Vikings, 23-7, in Super Bowl IV. He was a captain in Super Bowl I and Super Bowl IV.

Mays was named to the All-time All-AFL Team in 1970 and announced his retirement after that season. He then returned to Dallas to work for a construction company owned by his father, Avery. He died of malignant melanoma cancer in 1994, two years after the death (from cancer) of his former teammate, Buck Buchanan. The other starting defensive end from the Super Bowl team, Aaron Brown, was killed in 1997 when struck by a car from behind, leaving Curley Culp as the lone survivor of the Chiefs' vaunted front four from the championship club.

See also[edit]