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New Orleans Saints Flashback: Tony Elliott

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)


Tony Elliott was a nose tackle for the New Orleans Saints from 1982-1988.

Drafted in the fifth round of the 1982 NFL Draft by New Orleans, went on to play 84 games for the Saints, compiling 13 sacks in 84 games.

Elliott’s best season was 1983, when he accumulated 5.5 sacks in only 12 games.

At 6-foot-2, and 282 pounds, with outstanding athletic ability, Elliott, who wore #99, had his moments of greatness, but he also had some personal demons, which curtailed his career.

Elliott signed with Wisconsin after playing high school football in Bridgeport, Connecticut , but transferred, moving on to North Texas, where his finished up his college playing days.

Elliott suffered from a drug addiction in the NFL, something that likely kept him from reaching his potential.

After his playing days, Elliott continued to battle his personal issues, and in 2000 was shot by a reported drug dealer. Elliott survived, but was left paralyzed from the waist down.


On December 31, 2007 Elliott, who was restricted to a wheelchair, while also suffering from congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and diabetes, died at the age of 48

The talented Elliott certainly had some good moments on the field, but despite his issues, he had some positive moments off the field, as well. During his years with the Saints, Elliott funded an annual scholarship given to college-bound athletes at his Connecticut high school who excelled in academics, and he often spoke to youths about the dangers of drugs.

Most Saints fans, however, will remember Elliott as the guy who signed his contract, and then went back home to Connecticut, went on a cocaine binge, and blew his $14,000 signing bonus.

Elliott was a player that had some good games, and some good years with the Saints. Sadly, however, drugs probably kept him from having had a better career, and certainly kept him from having a longer, more productive life.

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