Ex-Steelers linebacker dies

By wire services
Published March 23, 2005

PITTSBURGH - David Little, a durable linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers who was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1990, died while weightlifting at home in Miami. He was 46.

Mr. Little, an All-American at Florida in 1980, had heart disease, and a cardiac fluttering Thursday caused him to drop on his chest 250 pounds of weights, which rolled onto his neck and suffocated him, the coroner said Tuesday. Mr. Little was found by his sons, David Jr. and Darien.

Mr. Little played his 12-year career in Pittsburgh after he was drafted out of Florida in the seventh round in 1981. He started 125 of the 179 games he played for the Steelers and once played in 89 in a row. His last season in the league was 1992. His older brother, Larry Little, was an All-Pro guard for the Dolphins.

O'DWYER TO PACKERS: Guard Matt O'Dwyer agreed to a contract with Green Bay after missing all but the final four games last season with the Bucs because of a chest injury. Agent Mark Bartelstein said O'Dwyer will sign a one-year deal for the veteran minimum of $765,000.

O'Dwyer played for the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals from 1996-03. The 32-year-old guard had been expected to start for the Bucs last year before tearing a pectoral muscle lifting weights.

ROMANOWSKI TRIAL: A jury ordered Bill Romanowski to pay former Raiders teammate Marcus Williams $340,000 in damages for smashing the tight end's face with a punch during a practice drill in 2003.

Williams had sought millions of dollars in damages for the Aug. 24, 2003, attack, saying it broke his left eye socket, shortened his memory, gave him double vision and depression, and ended his career after less than two seasons.

BENGALS: Safety Anthony Mitchell, an unrestricted free agent, signed a one-year contract. Mitchell is a sixth-year player who was with the team for the final 12 games last season after being released by the Jaguars.

PATRIOTS: Former Bucs linebacker Don Davis, an unrestricted free agent, re-signed. He is entering his 10th season, played mostly on special teams during two seasons with the team.