Thomas Howard was released by the Falcons last week and had played in the NFL since 2006.
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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