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Former San Diego Chargers quarterback Jesse Freitas found dead in California

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Authorities have confirmed that a body discovered in a parked car in Northern California on Tuesday was that of former San Diego Chargers quarterback Jesse Freitas.

Death confirmed

Freitas, 63, was drafted by the Chargers in 1974 and played for the franchise for the following two seasons. He was found fully clothed and lying on the backseat of the vehicle by a family passing by, per The Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Petaluma police lieutenant Dan Fish confirmed that that the former NFL quarterback had been in the area to meet an estate agent but missed the appointment. The Lt. also made it clear that there was no indication or "trauma or foul play", but did note that they were waiting on results from toxicology tests.

"It's very likely he was there waiting for an appointment with a real estate agent and he laid down in the back of (the) car with door open and died from an unknown cause." Fish explained.

Prior issues

Since seeing his pro football career come to an end in 1976, Freitas, Yahoo Sports reports, had suffered with mental illness and had been arrested on numerous occasions.

These arrests included hit-and-run, petty theft and violating restraining orders.

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Freitas' brother, James, revealed that the family have agreed to have the former NFL player's brain analyzed in a bid to discover whether he had been suffering from traumatic shock - an issue that arises from football injuries.

This request came directly from the coroner following the original autopsy which was carried out on Tuesday.

Football career

Jesse Freitas played his college football at both Stanford and then San Diego State. In his final season before the pros he threw for 21 touchdowns and 2,293 yards.

Drafted into the league as a sixth round pick by the San Diego Chargers, Freitas went on to play in 13 games over two seasons - throwing eight touchdowns in the process.

His chances under center were limited somewhat by the presence of Hall of Famer Dan Fouts but Freitas performed admirably in the back up role.

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