Former 49ers All-Pro defensive end Cedrick Hardman dies at 70

Former All-Pro defensive end Cedrick Hardman, a key member of the 49ers' "Gold Rush" defensive line of the 1970s, passed away Friday night, the team announced. He was 70.

Hardman spent 10 seasons in San Francisco, which selected him ninth overall in the 1970 NFL Draft. With his entire NFL career coming before the sack became an official statistic, Hardman is recognized as the club's unofficial leader with 112.5. He twice earned All-Pro honors, made two Pro Bowls and appeared in 139 games, the fifth-most for a 49ers defensive lineman.

"We are truly saddened by the loss of one of the all-time great 49ers, Cedrick Hardman," the team said in a statement. "During his 10-year career in red and gold, he anchored the vaunted 'Gold Rush' defensive line with a non-stop motor that put fear in the minds of opposing quarterbacks. As a football player, Cedrick's accomplishments were many. As a man, his impact on the lives of others was just as impressive. Our condolences and prayers go out to the Hardman family and all who are mourning the passing of Cedrick."

Hardman played his final two seasons with the Oakland Raiders and was a member of their Super Bowl XV championship team. The organization released the following statement upon his passing:

"The Raiders Family mourns the passing of Cedrick Hardman, who joined the Silver and Black in 1980 and served as a mentor and a friend to many young Raiders, including Howie Long. Hardman was a key part of the Super Bowl XV championship team and he will be missed dearly by the entire Raider Nation."

Hardman was born in Houston and starred at North Texas State. He also appeared in a few movies, including "Stir Crazy" in 1980.

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