Birmingham Stallions and former NFL defensive end Jessie Lemonier died at age 25, the Detroit Lions confirmed Thursday.
Lemonier played in seven games (two starts) for the Lions during the 2021 season and recorded a sack of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the regular-season finale in January 2022.
Lemonier was from Hialeah, Fla., and is the younger brother of former Auburn and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Corey Lemonier, a third-round pick in 2013 who also spent time with the New York Jets, Lions and Cleveland Browns.
"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of former Detroit Lion Jessie Lemonier. Jessie was a model teammate and a wonderful young man who is gone far too soon," a statement from the Lions said.
Drafted by the XFL's Arlington Renegades in the 2023 draft, Jessie Lemonier instead signed with the USFL's Houston Gamblers and was traded to Birmingham for quarterback Montell Cozart. He was set to play for Birmingham this spring.
Lemonier began his college career at Ventura College and played at Liberty, posting 20.5 sacks in two seasons. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Los Angeles Chargers and played in six games in 2020. He joined the Lions in 2021 and was elevated from the practice squad to the active roster in November 2021.
Lemonier was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Cardinals in March 2022 and spent the offseason with the team before he was released at the end of training camp in August.
--Field Level Media