Verlon Biggs, a soft-spoken, big-play defensive end on the Jets' team that won the 1969 Super Bowl, died yesterday at Singing River Hospital in Moss Point, Miss. He was 51.
The cause of death was leukemia, his family said.
A former Jackson State (Miss.) star who was the Jets' third-round choice in the 1965 American Football League draft, the 6-foot-4-inch, 270-pound Biggs was a dominating presence in New York through the 1970 season. Then, having played out his option, he signed with the Washington Redskins, where he played through 1974. After spending the 1975 season on the injured list, he retired.
Biggs, a three-time All-Star, was voted the outstanding defensive player in the 1966 A.F.L. All-Star Game. He is the first player from the Jets' Super Bowl champions to die. A Fierce Pass Rusher
Biggs's former coach, Weeb Ewbank, remembered him yesterday as a pass rusher with a penchant for making the big play.
"He was a great team player who was always where he was supposed to be," Ewbank said.
Biggs had two of his biggest plays in the 1968 post-season. First, he sacked Oakland's quarterback, Daryle Lamonica, on fourth and 10 late in the A.F.L. championship game, which the Jets won, 27-23. Then, on the first play from scrimmage in the second half of Super Bowl III, he forced a fumble that set up a field goal and a 10-0 lead in the Jets' famous 16-7 upset of the Baltimore Colts.
After he left football, he was a professional wrestler for a few years before returning to Moss Point, where he operated a small farm.
He is survived by two daughters, Hope and Viv, five brothers and two sisters.