Leonard Little went on to enjoy a successful career playing for the St. Louis Rams. He played for the Rams from 1998 to 2009. Little was a defensive end and was a part of a Super Bowl team during his career.
During his rookie season, he celebrated his 24th birthday and did not go the way he planned. He got into a serious car crash that resulted in someone losing their life.
Leonard Little’s career with the St. Louis Rams
Before Little got to the NFL, he enjoyed a successful career in college at the University of Tennessee. He started every game at middle linebacker. During his senior season, he was a first-team All-American and first-team All-SEC. The Rams selected Little in the third round of the 1998 draft. He signed a three-year, $1.2 million contract in July of 1998 and got a $400,000 signing bonus.
Little played an important role on the Rams defensive team. During the 1999 season, the Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans in the Super Bowl, which made Little a Super Bowl champion in his second season. Little had a big season in 2001, finishing with 14.5 sacks, which was the most in his career. His quickness off the ball is one thing that made him successful as a defensive end. Offensive linemen had issues with keeping little in front.
During the 2003 season, Little would accomplish something for the first time in his career, which was making the All-Pro team and playing in the Pro Bowl. That season he played in 12 games and had 47 combined tackles, 41 total tackles, and 12.5 sacks. He had four seasons with 12 or more sacks, and he led his team in sacks six times throughout his career.
Leonard Little’s car crash that killed a woman
Little had everything going for him in 1998. He was starting his rookie season in the NFL, and he celebrated his birthday during the first half of the season. But he did not know what would happen on his birthday. Little was involved in a car crash on the night of his birthday. The driver of the car he crashed in ended up dying from the injuries she suffered.
Little was put on the non-injury list due to legal issues regarding the crash. Little ended up pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 90 days in a city workhouse and four years of probation. He was also ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service. The NFL suspended him for the first eight games of the 1999 season.
Leonard Little’s drunk driving resulted in someone dying
Little enjoyed his birthday a little too much. A blood test showed that Little had a blood-alcohol level of .19, which was near twice the legal limit of .10 at the time. He did not face any jail time; neither was a let go from the NFL even though he killed someone.
Little should not have been driving the night of his birthday. The smart decision would have been to have a designated driver or have caught a taxi or found another alternative because that would have saved an innocent woman’s life. But Little served his sentence and understood what he did was wrong.