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NFL player, former Falcon killed in car crash

Thomas Howard spent his first five NFL seasons with the Raiders.

Thomas Howard spent his first five NFL seasons with the Raiders.

Linebacker Thomas Howard, a former member of the Oakland Raiders who had been waived by the Atlanta Falcons last week, was killed in a car crash on Monday in Oakland, Calif., San Francisco television station KRON reported.

Howard, 30, was driving his BMW on the freeway when he lost control of the vehicle and collided with a semi-truck, according to the report. Howard was believed to be traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph, according to the California Highway Patrol.

He and a passenger were killed.

A second-round draft pick out of Texas-El Paso, Howard spent his first five NFL seasons with the Raiders, and he was a regular starter for the first four of those years.

He was a starter for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011, but played just one game for Cincinnati in 2012.

The Falcons signed Howard on Oct. 22, and he played in two games for the Falcons this season.

Atlanta cut him on Nov. 12 to make room on the roster for the return of Sean Weatherspoon.