The Oakland Raiders were saddened to learn of the passing of Todd Christensen this morning and offer condolences to his family.
Christensen played for the Silver and Black from 1979-88, during which time the Raiders went 90-62 in the regular season, 8-3 in the postseason and won two World Championships of Professional Football with victories over Philadelphia in Super Bowl XV and Washington in Super Bowl XVIII. Christensen was selected to five Pro Bowls (1983-87) and was a two-time first-team All-Pro choice (1983, 86).
General Manager Reggie McKenzie, a teammate of Christensen with the Raiders from 1987-88, stated, "I am deeply saddened to hear the news about the passing of my former teammate Todd Christensen. Todd was a special player and an exemplary teammate and I cherished our time together as Raiders. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Raider family are with the Christensen family in this time of mourning."
Tom Flores, Raiders' head coach during Christensen's stellar Raiders career, spoke this morning about his star tight end.
"Todd was an excellent football player and was prolific in the passing game," said Flores of Christensen, who led the league in receptions twice, and his 349 receptions from 1983-86 were an NFL record. "He was a hybrid tight end, an H-back before it became a football term. He started out as a special teamer and was named our special teams captain right away while playing behind Raymond Chester and Dave Casper. He then helped us win Super Bowls.
"I remember Todd as always using big words and quoting famous authors and poets. He was comical at times because no one knew what he was talking about. I hadn't seen much of him lately but miss the fun, great times we all shared as a Raider family."
Christensen led the Raiders in receiving for four consecutive seasons from 1983-86. For his career, Christensen caught 461 passes—most ever by a Raider tight end—for 5,872 yards and 41 touchdowns in the regular season. In those eight postseason contests, he recorded 31 catches for 358 yards and one touchdown. In 1983, Christensen set a then-franchise record with 92 catches for 1,247 yards and 12 touchdowns in leading the Silver and Black to a victory in Super Bowl XVIII. In 1986, he broke his own team record with an NFL-leading 95 receptions for 1,153 yards and eight touchdowns.
Originally selected by Dallas the second round of the 1978 NFL Draft, Christensen joined the Raiders in 1979 following a brief stint with the New York Giants. Christensen enjoyed a distinguished college career at BYU and was inducted into the BYU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992. He was also inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. Following his football career, Christensen served as an analyst for NFL and college football.