Former San Francisco 49ers first-round pick dies of potential suicide

College Football: Auburn Terry Beasley (88) in action, making cacth vs Tennessee at Neyland Stadium.Knoxville, TN 9/25/1971CREDIT: Herb Scharfman (Photo by Herb Scharfman /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)(Set Number: X16192 TK1 R18 F25 )

Terry Beasley, a former former 49ers first-round pick, Auburn star receiver and College Football Hall of Famer, has died of an apparent suicide, according to police. He was 73.

St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell said Beasley was declared dead at about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Moody Police Chief Reece Smith said the case is being investigated as a potential suicide.

"We got a call at 5:20 (Wednesday) afternoon and officers found Mr. Beasley with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Smith said Thursday.

Beasley, who for decades suffered from the effects of a number of concussions during his playing career, paired up with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Pat Sullivan and earned All-America honors in both 1970 and 1971. He still holds the school receiving records with 2,507 yards and 29 touchdowns in a three-year career.

Beasley was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002. His No. 88 is one of only three Auburn football jerseys to be retired, along with Sullivan’s No. 7 and Bo Jackson’s No. 34.

"Pat Sullivan was the leader, the quarterback, the Heisman Trophy winner, but the guy who made that whole passing game go was Beasley," former Auburn athletic director and sports information director David Housel said. "He is an Auburn legend. He is the standard by which all other Auburn receivers will be measured."

Beasley also holds Auburn’s record for consecutive games with a touchdown catch (8), along with 100-yard receiving games in a season (6) and a career (12).

Beasley was a first-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 1972. He played three seasons in the NFL before retiring in 1975 because of injuries and later was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the NFL on the effects of brain injuries. It was settled in 2016.

In the lawsuit, Beasley said he had suffered memory loss, headaches, anxiety and sleeplessness as a result of football-related injuries.