Former Cardinals safety Kwamie Lassiter dies at 49

Former Cardinals safety Kwamie Lassiter dies at 49

Kwame Lassiter, an undrafted free agent who started alongside Pat Tillman in the Cardinals secondary and once intercepted four passes in a game, died Sunday at age 49. 

According to the team’s flagship station, Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Lassiter suffered a heart attack while working out. 

“We were all devastated to learn of Kwamie’s passing today and our hearts go out to all of his family and friends,” Cardinals team president Michael Bidwill said in a statement. “Kwamie came to the Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent. He not only became a key contributor to our team for eight seasons but continued to make an impact on this community after his playing days ended. He will be missed greatly.”

Lassiter signed with the Cardinals in 1995 after his college career at Kansas. He worked his way into the starting free safety job during the 1998 season, teaming with the rookie Tillman as Arizona’s last line of defense. 

His signature moment came in that year’s regular-season finale against the Chargers, with the Cardinals needing a win to clinch their first playoff berth since moving to Arizona 10 years earlier. Lassiter intercepted San Diego quarterback Craig Whelihan four times — once in each quarter — to help secure a 16-13 Cardinals win. 

That gave him eight picks for the season, and he topped it three years later, being named a Pro Bowl alternate after nine interceptions in the 2001 campaign. 

After eight years with the Cardinals, Lassiter went on to play one season each with the Chargers and Rams before retiring. He later held a variety of sports radio jobs in the Phoenix area.