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George Sauer, member of Jets SB team, passes away

**Updated @ 5:46p**

Former Jets wide receiver George Sauer died Tuesday. He was 69.

Sauer played for the Jets from 1965 through 1970, catching 309 passes for 4,965 yards and 28 touchdowns in 84 games. He was an integral part of the team's Super Bowl III victory over the favored Baltimore Colts -- a feat made all the more famous thanks to Joe Namath's guarantee. 

"We will always remember George Sauer for his role in the New York Jets’ run that culminated with a historic victory in Super Bowl III as well as the strength of his convictions off the field," owner Woody Johnson said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family as we say goodbye to someone whose unforgettable contributions will always be a part of this organization’s history."

Despite his athletic ability, Sauer later quit pro football because the game "both glorifies and destroys bodies," he said in a 1983 New York Times article.

Sauer, who had reportedly been struggling with Alzheimer's disease, died of congestive heart failure in Westerville, Ohio.

Sauer -- whose father, George Sr., played briefly for the Green Bay Packers in the 1930s -- was a four-time All-Star in the American Football League (1966, 1967, 1968, 1969). He retired from the NFL at age 27 and pursued writing.

Rex Ryan began his post-practice press conference Saturday by expressing his condolences to Sauer's family.

"First off, obviously some bad news in the Jet community, George Sauer, I believe passed away on Tuesday. We just found out today, at least I just found out today. He had Alzheimer’s. Obviously, that’s a terrible disease. My stepmom suffers from that, so thoughts go out to his family and everyone affected from that.

"The thing I remember about George Sauer going back, I was a young kid when my dad was coaching with the Jets, and everybody knew about Don Maynard obviously, a great receiver (and) a Hall of Fame receiver, but the thing is George Sauer stepped up in the biggest moment. I think he caught eight balls in the Super Bowl. So, that’s what I remember about George Sauer, but obviously he was a tremendous player." 

Tags: jets , george sauer , super bowl III , joe namath

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