Former New York Jets wide receiver George Sauer died in Westerville, Ohio, this week, the team confirmed Saturday. He was 69.
Dana Keifer told The New York Times her brother had been stricken with Alzheimer's disease and died Tuesday of congestive heart failure.
Sauer was a star on the Jets team that upset the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in 1969, largely establishing the American Football League as a legitimate rival to the NFL.
With Don Maynard hampered by an injury, Sauer made eight receptions for 133 yards against the Colts. Joe Namath's 39-yard pass play to Sauer late in the third quarter set up the Jets' final field goal for a 16-0 lead.
Sauer was a four-time AFL all-star during his six-season pro career. He appeared in 84 games and caught 309 passes for 4,965 yards, three times going over 1,000 yards in a season.
He abruptly retired in 1970 at the height of his career, resentful over the control that teams exercised over the players.