BREAKING: Patrick Mahomes is saddened by the news that the former Chicago Bears quarterback has passed away

Chicago Bears helmet

Chicago Bears helmet (Photo by Getty Images)

A former Chicago Bears quarterback has passed on.

The Bears announced this weekend that Bob Avellini, who played with Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton and helped lead the team to the 1977 playoffs, died of cancer at the age of 70.

The team didn’t say when he died.

Avellini and Payton played out the best season of their careers in 1977, with the Bears and Minnesota Vikings both going 9-5 in the NFC North. The Vikings won the division, and the Bears got a Wild Card berth.

The Dallas Cowboys got the better of them, however, beating them 37-7 in the first round. Avellini threw 11 touchdown passes for a career-high 2,004 yards and 18 interceptions that season. Payton rushed for north of 1,800 yards and 14 scores.

“Former Bears quarterback Bob Avellini passed away Saturday at the age of 70,” the Bears announced on Sunday.

“Bob was one-of-kind, a fierce and tough competitor,” the team added. “He’s perhaps best remembered for leading the Bears on an improbable run in 1977 to our first postseason appearance in fourteen years. He will be missed.”

The former QB threw for 7,111 yards, 33 TDs, and 69 interceptions in nine seasons, having played in 73 games.

He came into the NFL the same year as Payton; the Bears took him in the sixth round in 1975 following his career at Maryland. Payton, on the other hand, was the No. 4 overall pick.

Former Chicago Bears QB Bob Avellini Struggled After Retirement

Avellini transitioned to real estate after retirement, but being a broker came with its challenges as he filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to felony DUI in 2014, which was on the back of his sixth DUI arrest since 2002.

The former Chicago Bears signal-caller said the injuries he suffered during his career were the cause of his drinking and depression.

Still, he was pretty active when it came to charity events in the Chicago area and was hailed as a “supportive former teammate.”

Our thoughts go out to Bob’s family, friends, and loved ones.