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Former Minnesota Vikings Star Has Passed Away At 70

A general view of the Minnesota Vikings stadium.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 28: General stadium view of the Minnesota Vikings against the San Diego Chargers at US Bank stadium on August 28, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

On Thursday afternoon, the NFL community lost a beloved figure when a former star linebacker passed away.

Former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Matt Blair passed away, the team confirmed in a statement on Thursday. He was 70 years old.

"Matt Blair was a great presence at Vikings events and a tremendous teammate long after playing. He embodied the best of what it means to be a Viking," said Vikings Owner Mark Wilf.

"Matt is a Ring of Honor player whose legacy will live on forever with the franchise and in the community he loved."

Blair started his football career at the junior college level before programs like Alabama and Florida State started recruiting him. He eventually signed to play at Iowa State where he was a second-team All-American.

The Minnesota Vikings selected Blair in the second round of the 1974 NFL draft. During his NFL career, he started 130 of the 160 regular-season games he played, racking up 1,452 tackles, the second-most in team history.

Blair was a six-time Pro Bowl linebacker, a first-team All-Pro in 1979 and second-team All-Pro in 1980. He helped lead the team to two Super Bowl appearances during his NFL career. He played all 12 seasons with the Vikings.

Our thoughts are with the Blair family and Vikings community.