BREAKING: Former San Francisco 49ers Great & Hall Of Famer Has Tragically Passed Away /d

San Francisco 49ers helmet for article on Jimmy Johnson death

San Francisco 49ers helmet (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The NFL is mourning the death of former star cornerback Jimmy Johnson.

The Hall of Famer, a three-time All-Pro and a member of the 1970s All-Decade Team, passed away at age 86.

Johnson’s family told the Pro Football Hall of Fame he died on Wednesday night.

The Niners have since taken to social media to announce the sad development and pass on their condolences.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994, Johnson spent all of his 16 years in the league with San Francisco, playing 213 games. He had the most appearances of any 49ers player when he retired.

“Jimmy Johnson was extraordinarily athletically talented,” Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said, per ESPN. “The 49ers enjoyed the luxury of using him on offense and defense early in his career to fill team needs. Once he settled in at left cornerback, he flourished.

“The notion that a ‘lockdown’ cornerback could cut the field in half for the opposition was true with Jimmy. Only rarely would other teams’ quarterbacks even look his direction, and more often than not regretted the decision if they challenged him.”

Johnson was drafted sixth overall by the Niners in 1961, following his time at UCLA. He was also drafted in the fourth round by the AFL’s Chargers.

The team wasted little time making him a starting cornerback, and he repaid them with five interceptions in his rookie year.

Jimmy Johnson Was Primetime Before Primetime

Johnson was a mainstay in the position by 1964, shutting down his side of the field, and remained there until he retired in 1976.

Some will say that Jimmy Johnson was Primetime before Deion Sanders became Primetime in the late 80s. He ended his career with 47 interceptions, returning two for touchdowns.

Johnson also won the George Halas Award for courageous play in 1971.

Our thoughts go out to his family, friends, and loved ones.

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