Former NFL linebacker Clark Haggans has passed away at the age of 46 according to insider Colin Dunlap of Pittsburgh sports radio 93.7 The Fan.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Clark Haggans has died.— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) June 21, 2023
He was 46.
Haggans played for the Steelers from 2000-07, was a 2000 5th round pick of the organization and member of the Super Bowl XL championship team. pic.twitter.com/s1tNqDBECw
Before Haggans played in the NFL, he had an illustrious college football career. Some say that records are meant to be broken but his remains strong as Haggans is Colorado State’s record holder in career sacks (34) since 1999.
Haggans was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth-round of the 2000 NFL Draft as he went on to having a productive 13-year NFL career. He played in first eight seasons with the Steelers and formed a formidable pass rush duo with Joey Porter for nearly a decade. In their time as teammates in Pittsburgh (2000-2006), Haggans and Porter had a combined 86.5 sacks.
At the age of 25, Haggans became a Super Bowl Champion after the 21-10 win over the Seattle Seahawks. He recorded five tackles and a sack in the victory. That same season was his best statistically in his professional career as he had career highs in sacks (9) and forced fumbles (4).
In 2008, Haggans signed a three-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals as he reunited with former Steelers’ offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt in the desert. He helped Arizona reach their first Super Bowl in franchise history in his first season with the team. The Cardinals ended up losing Super Bowl XLIII 27-23 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Haggans’ former team.
When Whisenhunt was hired as the Cardinals’ head coach in 2007, the general manager at the time (Rod Graves) made in effort to add as many former Steelers players as possible in their time together. The list includes Haggans, Rodney Bailey, Bryant McFadden, Sean Morey, Chukky Okobi, Brian St. Pierre, Jerame Tuman, and Keydrick Vincent. You get the gist. The Cardinals were attempting to be the Steelers of the NFC West and they were dominant for a couple seasons (2008-09).
The Cardinals continued that trend in 2010 as they signed Joey Porter to a three-year deal, reuniting him with Clark Haggans. They had 14 sacks combined in their final two seasons in Arizona.
Haggans had a knack for going to Super Bowl because in his final season in the NFL (2012), he played for the San Francisco 49ers that reached Super Bowl XLVII. 49ers lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34-31 but each team that he played for made it to the big dance. He retired in 2013.
In his 13-year NFL career, Haggans made 104 starts in 172 games. He had 520 tackles, 46.5 sacks, made three Super Bowl appearances, and is a Super Bowl Champion. The Colorado State product was never a big name that every NFL fan knew about but he was a consistent and dependable leader on the football field.
Rest in Peace Clark! Gone but never forgotten!