When he ended his life last year by shooting himself in the chest, Junior Seau had a degenerative brain disease often linked with repeated blows to the head.

National Institutes of Health researchers said Thursday the former NFL linebacker's abnormalities are consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Seau played for 20 NFL seasons with San Diego, Miami and New England before retiring in 2009. He died at age 43 of a self-inflicted gunshot in May, and his family requested the analysis of his brain.

In the final years of his life, Seau had wild behavioral swings, according to his ex-wife Gina, along with signs of irrationality, forgetfulness, insomnia and depression.

Seau joins a list of several dozen football players who were found to have CTE. The NFL also faces lawsuits by thousands of ex-players who say the league withheld information on the harmful effects of concussions.

Jaguars: Jacksonville fired coach Mike Mularkey after just one season and a 2-14 record. The move came 10 days after owner Shad Khan fired general manager Gene Smith. Khan also introduced new G.M. David Caldwell, who was in Atlanta's front office. Potential replacements for Mularkey include 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Caldwell and Roman were teammates and roommates while attending John Carroll in the 1990s.


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  • Tim Tebow won't be playing for his hometown team. "I can't imagine a scenario in which he'll be a Jacksonville Jaguar, even if he's released," Caldwell said of the New York Jets backup quarterback.

    Browns: Carolina offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski was named Cleveland's new coach. He had worked with the Browns previously as an assistant.

    Eagles: Lovie Smith is the seventh candidate to meet with owner Jeffrey Lurie.

    Cardinals: Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden interviewed for Arizona's vacant coaching job.