April 6 (UPI) -- Doug Sutherland, a member of the Minnesota Vikings' famed "Purple People Eaters" defense, has died, the team announced. He was 73.
The Vikings said Sutherland died Tuesday, but did not provide a cause of death.
"Doug Sutherland was one of our proudest legends," Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said in a news release. "His humble nature did not allow for him to talk much about his own playing career, but Doug was a key member of some of the best defenses in NFL history and three Super Bowl teams.
"Doug was also the consummate teammate after football. He was one of the most active members of Vikings Legends events and didn't miss a chance to help out at a community event or lend a hand where needed. Our thoughts are with Doug's friends and family."
Sutherland was a 14th-round pick by the New Orleans Saints in the 1970 NFL Draft. The Saints traded the former Wisconsin-Superior star to the Vikings in 1971.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive tackle went on to total 27.5 sacks with the Vikings. He appeared in 138 of his 164 career games with the Vikings. Sutherland spent his final season with the Seattle Seahawks.
The Vikings won their division in eight of Sutherland's 10 seasons with the franchise. They went to the Super Bowl in 1974, 1975 and 1977, but lost in all three trips.
Notable Deaths of 2022