Late Cardinals safety had a remarkable season back in 2001

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty images) Kwamie Lassiter
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty images) Kwamie Lassiter /

Former Arizona Cardinals safety Kwamie Lassiter turned in a fantastic performance for the team’s defensive unit back in 2001

Over a quarter of a century ago, the Arizona Cardinals signed a little-known safety who went unselected during the 1995 NFL Draft.

Kwamie Lassiter, a 25-year-old out of the University of Kansas, went on to give the organization more than they could’ve imagined over the next eight years. The defensive back’s 2001 campaign, in particular, would go down as one of the greatest seasons ever recorded by an NFL safety.

When the 2001 schedule got underway 20 years ago, the 5-foot-11, 207-pound Lassiter had been a full-time starter for the Cards since 1999. The Virginia native had been excellent in run support, but he was not yet considered a strong defender against the pass. That perception of Lassiter would change quickly, however.

In 16 starts for Arizona in 2001, Lassiter registered a whopping nine interceptions, a number that was three times the amount of picks he had tallied in the previous two campaigns combined. He also broke up an equally impressive 15 passes, instantly transforming himself into one of pro football’s best ball-hawking safeties.

Life after the Arizona Cardinals for the playmaking defensive back

In June of 2003, Lassiter inked a three-year contract with the San Diego Chargers, but he was cut by the squad one year later. The St.Louis Rams added Lassiter to their roster in September of 2004, but his stay with that club would last for just four games.

Two years later, the now-retired player returned to the place where his career began. From 2006 to 2008, Lassiter served as the pregame and postgame host for the Arizona Cardinals Radio Network.

In January of 2019, tragedy struck. During a routine workout, Lassiter died of a heart attack. The husband and father was just 49-years-old at the time.

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Cards fans will have fond memories of Lassiter, especially of what he accomplished back in 2001. Our hearts go out to the family of a man who left us way too soon. Rest in peace, Kwamie.