Del Shofner, the lanky 6-3 wideout on the receiving end of so many of the electrifying passes that made the Giants a perennial title contender in the early 1960s, died on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. He was 85.
Shofner was a first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 1957, but after the 1960 season he was traded to the Giants. That same offseason the Giants acquired quarterback Y.A. Tittle, and together the two invigorated the offense and led the Giants to three consecutive NFL Championship Games (though they never won one, losing to the Packers twice and then the Bears). Shofner had over 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons with the Giants.
Shofner played 11 seasons in the NFL and retired following the 1967 season with the Giants. He was named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1960s by voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He finished with 349 catches for 6,470 yards and 51 touchdowns, averaging 18.5 yards a catch.
The Associated Press said it received a family statement on Thursday that the five-time Pro Bowler died in Los Angeles of natural causes with his family by his side.