Former Dolphins Starter Eric Laakso Died on Christmas at Age 53

​Eric Laakso played his entire NFL career in South Florida, and sadly he died here on Christmas at the much too young age of 53. After playing at Tulane, Laakso was drafted by the Dolphins in '78 and was the team's starting right tackle from '80 to his retirement in '85. That included a starting gig during the Dolphins' trip to the Super Bowl in 1983.

According to The Sun-Sentinel, Laakso was found dead in his home in Pompano Beach on Christmas night. The death was attributed to natural causes.

"Eric was a good friend of a lot of guys who played with him in the '70s and '80s," former Dolphins teammate Kim Bokamper told the paper. "He was a kind guy. He was one of those guys you could count on and never caused any trouble. I know he had some physical ailments in recent years, but still, for someone to die at that age has a pretty hard impact."

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Kyle Munzenrieder