In Their Words: Eddie Mason

Former Redskins linebacker Kevin Mitchell died this morning. The cause of death is still unknown. Mitchell was 36 years old and played for Washington from 2000-03. He was cut in the summer of 2004. Mitchell leaves behind a wife and two children.

Former Redskins linebacker Eddie Mason was close to Mitchell. These are his words about his friend.

Kevin was a perfect father and husband. There was none greater. Kevin's most important thing wasn't being a star or having 10 million in the bank. It wasn't material things. It was about his family, his wife and kids. That's all it was.

We met last week for lunch and talked for three hours and there was not one bit of conversation about business. It was all about families. We talked, as husbands do, about all the stuff our wives make us do and we'd laugh about that. But in the midst of it we'd say how blessed we are to have the type of families we did.

Kevin Mitchell/Getty Images

It was a true blessing to know him. He was more than a friend to me, he was like a brother. We used to say that we came from different mothers, but had the same father and we were talking our heavenly father. His dad had died at an early age and I was raised by a single mother.

He was so infectious with kids. He had a knack with them. If you saw him with his son … that's why this is killing me. His son Jonathan and his daughter Kayla …

You know how big and intimidating Kevin was? We used to call him a big teddy bear. He used to create games and songs with Jonathan and they'd do this little act together. They used to always laugh. This is devastating. This will take time to heal and to actually believe it's real. When his wife Denise called me, I was like, ‘Are you serious?' I could not believe it. So many other strong men have called me today. Shawn Barber. LaVar. Renaldo. Taylor Jacobs. It's the impact of Kevin. He was the salt of the earth.

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