Eighteen men who played football for the Pittsburgh Steelers have died since 2000, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The former players have fallen to heart attacks, accidents, disease and suicide over the past six years. The Times said 16 of the 77 NFL players from the 1970s and 1980s who have died since 2000 were Steelers - more than one in five.
Four of the deaths were unusual:
"It's just an anomaly that we can't explain. From an emotional standpoint it just makes you sad and makes you feel like the time we spent together was even more precious," former Steelers star receiver John Stallworth told the Times.
The newspaper said there was speculation that steroid abuse may have played a role in some of the deaths, but no hard evidence to that effect.