Junior Seau's death came as a shock to many who lived near his Oceanside, northern San Diego County home, and many questions are yet to be answered as to why the 20 year NFL veteran decided to shoot himself in an apparent suicide.
His family however, does not believe the NFL legend shot himself in the chest as a result of injuries sustained on the gridiron - an action many past NFL players have taken.
According to TMZ, a family source said Seau never complained about concussion-related medical problems and didn't appear to be suffering from depression.
We're told Seau never really spoke about the ongoing legal battle between the NFL and retired players who claim the league concealed critical information about the long-term effects of concussions.
The source said that if Seau was passionate about preserving his brain, he would've mentioned something to his family. The family is still unsure why Junior would want to end his own life.
Seau's death instantly drew comparisons to the death of former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson - who left a suicide note explaining he shot himself in the chest because he wanted his brain to be sent to the "NFL brain bank" for study.
Seau's death is among a few recent, unexpected deaths of NFL veterans as the talk of concussion, depression and mental illness has been an ongoing discussion since the All-Pro took his life yesterday. It was revealed that eight players from his Charger team that went to the Super Bowl in 1994 have all died before the age of 45.
Many of the players have died in freak accidents; running back Rodney Culver was killed in a airplane crash and teammate linebacker Doug Miller was hit twice by lightning on a camping trip.
Defensive tackle Shawn Lee died of heart failure when he went into cardiac arrest in February 2011. Defensive end Chris Mims, 39, was all alone and weighed nearly 500 pounds when an enlarged heart took his life.
Linebacker Lew Bush died of a heart attack in December at the age of 42, Center Curtis Whitley struggled with drug abuse for years before dying of a drug overdose in 2008 at age 39 and linebacker David Griggs, 28, died when he crashed his car drunk driving just months after playing the Super Bowl.
Seau’s family and friends are still reeling following the news of his passing, as many in the San Diego area have been leaving flowers, cards and their condolences at the restaurant he owned.