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Lawrence Phillips at center of investigation into death of prison cellmate

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Football News

The NFL has played host to it's fair share of stars who have had run ins with the law down the years.

That doesn't though make today's news, that one former first round pick is under suspicion from the authorities for murder, any less shocking.

Already serving a 31 year sentence in relation to two domestic assault cases and a conviction for driving his car into three teens back in 2006, former St. Louis Rams running back Lawrence Phillips is now back in the headlines - suspected of killing his prison cellmate.

As reported by ESPN:

(Phillips) is suspected of killing Damion Soward, a 37-year-old inmate from San Bernardino County serving 82 years to life for a first-degree murder conviction."

Off-field trouble

Now 39, the latest chapter in Lawrence Phillips' life unfortunately appears to follow a similar trajectory to previous off-field issues.

Despite his high draft selection the RB managed just three seasons in the NFL. He was cut by the Rams in 1997 for "insubordination", and suffered the same fate during spells with the Miami Dolphins (cut after a no contest plea to an assault of a female outside a Florida club) and San Francisco 49ers.

Suspended during his time with Nebraska after allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Phillips was arrested for reportedly driving over three teenagers after a disagreement concerning a pick-up football game 10 years later in 2005.

The former NFL player was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the offence. In 2009 Phillips was also convicted on seven counts for assault on another former girlfriend.

Wasted talent

Lawrence Phillips has been out of the NFL since 1999 but entered the league as one of the nation's most highly touted running backs after a stellar career on the gridiron with the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Racking up 34 total touchdowns and over 3,100 yards rushing in three years in college, including two national championships, Phillips was seen by many as possessing all the physical qualities to be a top back in the NFL.

Even after cutting him from the team, then Rams head coach Dick Vermeil claimed Phillips was potentially the best running back he'd ever coached.

At the time of writing there is no formal charge against Lawrence Phillips, California officials simply stating that they are looking into the situation with the former NFL man suspected of the murder.

What do you think NFL fans? Do you remember the hype surrounding Phillips when he entered the NFL? Share your stories in the comments section below...

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