Arthur Blank issues statement on passing of Falcons great Bill Fralic

Atlanta Falcons tackle Bill Fralic (79) sets up to block for quarterback Chris Miller (12) during a 31 - 21 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sept. 10, 1989, at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta. (AP Photo / Al Messerschmidt)

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Former Falcons offensive lineman Bill Fralic passed away at the age of 56 on Thursday after a battle with cancer, according to a release by the University of Pittsburgh athletic department.

Fralic was selected by the Falcons with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1985 NFL Draft, and he went on to play nine seasons in the NFL, including eight with the Falcons. During his time in Atlanta, Fralic was named to the Pro Bowl four times and was a two-time All-Pro.

"On behalf of the Atlanta Falcons we would like to extend our condolences to all the family and friends of Bill Fralic," said Arthur M. Blank, chairman and owner of the team. "Bill was a cornerstone of the Falcons for eight seasons, while earning four Pro Bowl nods and two All-Pro selections. He was a beloved Falcon, and we will always be grateful for the impact he made here in Atlanta."

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