Mike Triplette of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that former Saints and Giants defensive tackle Norman Hand died Friday at age 37 from hypertensive cardiovascular disease, according to the Colleton County (S.C.) corner Richard Harvey.
Hand (pictured) struggled with weight problems throughout his 10-year career, although Harvey indicated that there was no way to make a direct link to his heart disease issues. Harvey did say that Hand had a history of high blood pressure, which led to his hypertension.
Hand was with the Saints from 2000-02 and also played for the Dolphins, Chargers, Seahawks and Giants.
Just as Reggie White's passing in 2004 at age 43, from Hand's experience should serve as yet another wakeup call for former NFL players who struggle to keep their weight down, both during and after their careers. It is one of the most important issues any player can face, and dealing with both weight and heart health are urgent matters for a major segment of the league's players.