AJ Smith dead: Key NFL figure and former Chargers GM dies aged 75

AJ Smith has died aged 75. Picture: Getty ImagesAJ Smith has died aged 75. Picture: Getty Images
AJ Smith has died aged 75. Picture: Getty Images
Key NFL figure and former Chargers GM, AJ Smith, has died after a seven-year battle with prostate cancer

Longtime NFL executive AJ Smith, full name Albert Smith, has died aged 75 after a seven-year battle with prostate cancer. Smith was an American Football professional scout, who worked with a number of major teams such as the New York Giants, New England Patriots, Chicago Blitz, Pittsburgh Maulers and Buffalo Bills, but he is best known as the general manager of San Diego chargers from 2003 to 2012.

Smith drafted notable Chargers players such as Shawne Merriman, Vincent Jackson, Darren Sproles, Antonio Cromartie, and Eric Weddle during a period of great success as the team achieved 98 wins across the ten seasons that he held the position.

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Chargers owner Dean Spanos said in a statement: "Belying a tough, matter of fact and no nonsense persona -- one synonymous with that of a true football guy -- was A.J.'s softer side which included a tremendous love for his family, the NFL and the Chargers.

"The architect of one of the greatest chapters in franchise history, AJ made everyone around him better with a singular focus and intensity that elevated our organisation. Our hearts are with his wife Sue, son Kyle, daughter Andrea and the entire Smith family during this difficult time."

A.J Smith is survived by his son Kyle Smith, who is currently the assistant GM for the Atlanta Falcons.

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