National Football League
                 === Former Raiders LB Howard dies in crash ===
 (  - Thomas Howard, a linebacker who played five seasons for
 the  Oakland Raiders and who was cut by the Atlanta Falcons last week, died in
 a  car accident  early Monday morning on a highway in California, according to
 "RIP to a great friend and teammate in Thomas Howard. You will be missed bro,"
 Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, a teammate of Howard's in 2012,
 tweeted Monday night.
 Howard,  30, was one  of two people killed after he lost control of his car on
 Interstate 880, TV station KRON first reported.
 Several  other media  outlets confirmed Howard died in the accident, which the
 California  Highway Patrol said was reported at 12:50 a.m. south of Fifth Ave.
 in Oakland.
 According to reports, Howard was driving a BMW 750Li northbound at a high rate
 of  speed  when the  car clipped  a semi-truck, went  airborne and crossed the
 center median onto southbound 880, where it struck a Chevrolet Monte Carlo and
 crashed  into a Honda CR-V. The driver of the Honda was also killed, according
 to reports.
 Howard  was born  in Lubbock, Texas, and played four seasons at Texas-El Paso.
 At  6-foot-3 and around 240 pounds, he was drafted in the second round in 2006
 by late Raiders owner Al Davis after running a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at the
 NFL scouting combine.
 He  played five seasons for the Raiders, starting at least 15 games in each of
 the  first four. In  his best NFL season, Howard recorded 95 tackles, one sack
 and six interceptions in 2007. He returned two of the picks for touchdowns.
 Howard  played two seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2011-12, but missed
 the last 15 games in 2012 after tearing his ACL during practice. He was signed
 by  the Falcons on  Oct. 22 and appeared in two games before they cut him Nov.
 In 95 NFL games, Thomas had 492 tackles, six sacks and seven interceptions.
 11/18 19:54:20 ET