FOXBORO – The New England Patriots are mourning the death of former tight end Russ Francis, who was killed in a plane crash in upstate New York. He was 70 years old.
According to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Francis and Richard McSpadden died Sunday in a crash at the end of a runway at Lake Placid Airport.
"On behalf of the entire New England Patriots organization, we extend our sincerest sympathies to the family of Russ Francis, who tragically passed away yesterday," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. "Russ was a fan favorite throughout his playing career. He was a dynamic player on the field who had an even bigger personality off it. He knew no boundaries, pushed the limits and lived his life to the fullest. Our thoughts are with Russ's family, friends, teammates and the many Patriots fans who mourn his loss."
Francis played 13 seasons in the NFL. He was selected by New England in the first round of the 1975 NFL Draft.
The tight end was with the Patriots from 1975-to-1980 before he was traded to San Francisco for a draft pick that would end up being used to select Andre Tippett.
After a stint with the 49ers that included a Super Bowl win in 1984, Francis returned for a final season with the Patriots in 1987 before retiring.
Francis had 393 receptions for 5,262 yards and 40 touchdowns in his career.
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