Thomas Howard was released by the Falcons last week and had played in the NFL since 2006.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- Former NFL linebacker Thomas Howard has died following a high-speed car crash on a freeway in Oakland.

The Alameda County Coroner's office said the 30-year-old Howard was one of two men who died in the crash early Monday morning. The driver of the other car, 64-year-old Zeng Long Liu of Hayward, also died.

Howard was driving a speeding BMW when he hit a big rig, flipped over the center divider and went head-on into a Honda traveling on the other side around 1 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Howard played eight years in the NFL after being drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the second round out of Texas-El Paso in 2006. He was most recently with Atlanta before getting released last week.

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