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Former Raiders All Pro tight end Billy Cannon passes away at age 80

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Billy Cannon
Oakland Raiders

A Raiders legend passed today. One who doesn’t get mentioned a lot in the annals of Raider lore, but probably should be. Billy Cannon, who passed at the age of 80, was a fullback and tight end for the Raiders for six seasons from 1964-69.

In 1967 the Raiders made their first Super Bowl appearance. Cannon was an All Pro that season as the team’s second leading receiver behind Fred Biletnikoff. Along with his 629 yards receiving, Cannon led the team with 10 receiving touchdowns.

The Raiders put out a statement Sunday on the passing of Cannon.

“The Raiders family is saddened to learn of the passing of Billy Cannon. One of many Heisman Trophy winners to wear the Silver and Black, Cannon always embodied the Raiders spirit. The organization’s sincere condolences are with the Cannon family at this time.”

He spent his first season in Oakland at fullback, rushing for 338 yards and 3 touchdowns. In the following five seasons as a tight end, Cannon caught 134 passes for 2268 yards (16.9 ypc) and 25 touchdowns.

Cannon’s distinction is having been the first player drafted by the AFL in 1960. He was selected by the LA Rams, but was awarded to the Houston Oilers where he played halfback and fullback over the first four years of his career.