A somber day for the Minnesota Vikings as one of the team's all-time greats, Matt Blair, passed away Thursday at the age of 70.
"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 in a statement. "Matt is a Ring of Honor player whose legacy will live on forever with the franchise and in the community he loved."
Blair was drafted by the Vikings in 1974 and went on to play 12 seasons in the NFL, all with the Vikings. He went to six consecutive Pro Bowls and his 1,452 tackles are the second-most in team history.
Blair's cause of death has not been announced.
"Aside from being a tremendous athlete and player, Matt was a better man," ex-Vikings linebacker Scott Studwell said in the statement from the team. "He was smart, worked at his craft and gave everything for the team. He was a great teammate and fun to be around. He took his work very seriously but had a great life away from football. I'm sad to see him go."
Former Vikings punter Greg Coleman tweeted that Blair was the "heart and soul" of the Vikings for many years.
Blair was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor in 2012.