05/03/2012 07:28 EDT | Updated 07/03/2012 05:12 EDT

Junior's last great play? Everyone wonders if Seau wanted his brain studied before suicide

Dave Duerson made it easy to understand why he ended his tortured life.

Before the former Chicago Bear fired a bullet into his chest last year, he asked to have his brain examined for damage he believed was caused by repeated blows to his head on the football field.

Junior Seau (SAY'-ow) was an even bigger NFL star, and he ended his life in much the same way as Duerson and former Atlanta Falcon Ray Easterling.

Now friends wonder if the San Diego star hoped his death might leave a greater legacy than anything he did on the gridiron.

Former player Kyle Turley has no doubt that Seau shot himself in the chest Wednesday so his brain could be studied for the telltale signs of football-related trauma.