Carolina Panthers linebackers coach Sam Mills (left), a five-time Pro Bowl selection during 12 National Football League seasons, died of intestinal cancer. He was 45.
Mills was diagnosed with cancer in his small intestine in August 2003. He played in every game at linebacker for the Panthers during their first three seasons from 1995-97, then joined their front office after retiring. He spent one year as a scout and the last six as linebackers coach.
"You are never going to meet a better person than Sam Mills," Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney said in a statement. "He exemplifies everything you are looking for in a human being."
He played three seasons with the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars of the defunct U.S. Football League from 1983-85, earning all-league recognition each year.
Mills broke into the NFL in 1986 with the New Orleans Saints and stayed with the team until 1994. He finished his NFL career with 1,319 tackles, 20 1/2 sacks, 11 interceptions and four touchdowns.
In other NFL news:
The Miami Dolphins re-signed starting center Seth McKinney to a one-year deal. A restricted free agent, McKinney started all 16 games at center last season, the only Dolphins offensive lineman to do so.
The New Orleans Saints agreed to terms on a one-year contract with veteran cornerback Jimmy Williams, Williams was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2001 draft. He signed as a free agent with San Francisco that fall and spent the last four seasons with the 49ers.