AdamsAdams, the fourth overall pick by Tampa Bay in the 2007 draft, was traded to Chicago in October.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Gaines Adams during this sad day," Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said. “It is a tragedy to lose someone at such a young age and our entire organization is deeply saddened by this news."
"Gaines was a part of the Buccaneer family and this is a tragic loss," general manager Mark Dominik said. “Everyone who met Gaines came away knowing what a great young man that he was."
Adams, who never quite reached his potential as a player, was frequently challenged and criticized by coach Raheem Morris before the trade. But Morris had strong praise for Adams.
"Gaines will be missed by all of us, especially by his teammates in our locker room," Morris said. “He was a true team player and a positive influence to everyone he met. My prayers go out to his family."
Veteran cornerback Ronde Barber might have had the strongest words of all.
“Gaines was a quiet, humble kid and is far too young to be gone," Barber said. “He had so much potential that had yet to be achieved and I am very sad that the full extent of his life won’t be realized.”