Raiders legend Jim Otto dies Sunday at 86

One of the original Raiders has died.

Jim Otto passed Sunday at 86. The news was announced by his former teammate, Raiders linebacker Phil Villapiano. The Raiders confirmed Otto’s death to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Originally drafted by a proposed AFL team in Minneapolis that was abandoned when the NFL decided to put a team there, Otto’s rights defaulted to the Raiders. He wore 50 as a rookie but switched to his trademark 00 in 1961.

He spent 15 years with the Raiders, through 1974. A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Otto also was named to the NFL’s 100th anniversary team and the AFL all-time team. He entered Canton in 1980, his first year of eligibility.

Otto was one of only 20 men to play in the AFL during its 10 years of existence.

A Wisconsin native, Otto played college football at the University of Miami.

Otto had 74 surgeries during and after his career. He eventually had his right leg amputated. Otto spoke about his football injuries to PBS more than a decade ago.

“There were so many times that I would walk off the field and my eyes would be crossed,” Otto said. “Did you ever have that happen to you? Get hit in the head so hard your eyes were crossed? You sit there. It’s strange; it’s really strange. Or what about if you had amnesia for two days? When you looked at your wife and you didn’t know who she was, like, who’s this chick? And you couldn’t remember. You got hit in the head, and you had amnesia.”

We extend our condolences to Otto’s family, teammates, friends, and the Raiders community.

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