Agent: Former Ravens LB Tony Fein has died

OWINGS MILLS -- Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker and Iraq War veteran Tony Fein died early Tuesday morning in his hometown of Port Orchard, Wash., according to his agent Milton D. Hobbs. The cause of death wasn't immediately known, but an emergency room official at Harrison Medical Center said that Fein was admitted Tuesday morning before he died. The time of death was 10 a.m. PST

Fein was 27 years old.

"It's just extremely sad," Hobbs told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. "I've talked to members of his family and some of his friends. We don't want to speculate on the cause of death right now out of respect for his family."

An undrafted rookie free agent from Ole Miss, Fein was released by the Ravens during their final major round of cuts.

Fein didn't have any reported health problems or injuries during his stint with the Ravens. "It's a shock," D.J. Sigurdson, Fein's football coach at South Kitsaps High School, said in a telephone interview late Tuesday night. "I can't believe it."

Fein enlisted in the Army at age 19 after graduating from high school in Port Orchard, Wash. He served in the Persian Gulf primarily as a Delta scout before being honorably discharged after a three-year enlistment.

"Being in the military really was a life-changing experience," Fein told the Carroll County Times during a training camp interview in August. "It makes you grow up fast. It teaches you a lot about teamwork and doing your job.

"It's kind of similar to football. Everyone has to do their exact job. It's the same thing in the military. The Army is the ultimate team, and that falls right in line with football."

Fein was involved in a controversy while with the Ravens.

He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault on a police officer during an incident at a Johnny Rockets restaurant in the Inner Harbor prior to a preseason game.

According to a police report, Fein initially refused to stand up when police officers approached him after being notified by security guards that a group of men were passing around a large, silver metallic object believed to be a gun that was actually a cellular phone.

When asked to stand again, Fein allegedly shoved an officer in the chest and was arrested. Hobbs accused the police of racial profiling, an allegation the Baltimore City police department vehemently denied.

At Ole Miss, Fein started at middle linebacker and recorded 136 career tackles in two seasons. A former high school quarterback, Fein finished second on the team in tackles as a junior. However, he was benched for a short period.

Then, Fein was nearly booted off the team by new Rebels coach Houston Nutt before eventually winning over the coaching staff with his work ethic.

It was Fein who recorded a pivotal tackle in the Rebels' upset victory over then-No. 1 Florida prior to a Cotton Bowl win over Texas Tech last season.

Fein also won the Pat Tillman award, which is presented to a college athlete who has fought on a battlefield like the late Arizona Cardinals safety who was accidentally killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.

At Ole Miss' campus Pro Day, Fein opened some NFL scouts' eyes when he bench-pressed 225 pounds 29 times, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds and registered a vertical leap of 37 1/2 inches and a 10-1 broad jump.

He was signed by Baltimore after trying out at a rookie minicamp in June following an unsuccessful tryout with the Seattle Seahawks.

Per Hobbs, Fein had been working out back in Port Orchard and hoping for another chance to play football.

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