Tim Kearney is a former football linebacker in the National Football League who played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and St. Louis Cardinals.
Born in Michigan, Kearney attended Kingsford High School before accepting a scholarship to play football at Northern Michigan University where he received Little All-American honours in 1971 and was inducted into the University’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.
Kearney was selected in the fourth round (83rd overall) of the 1972 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys, who were the defending Super Bowl champions. He faced a difficult challenge in making the team however, after the cowboys drafted a total of 5 linebackers and had one of the best linebacking corps in NFL history already in place. The Cincinnati Bengals claimed him off waivers on September 15, 1972 where he became a special teams player and middle linebacker for three seasons. Kearney was release from the team in 1975 and joined the Kansas City Chiefs. The following year he was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but was later released where he would sign with the St. Louis Cardinals. He became a starter at inside linebacker in the team’s 3-4 defense, leading the Cardinals in tackles in 1978 and 1980. In 1979, he was placed on the injury reserve list with a knee injury after the fifth game of the season and ended his 10 year career in 1982 following a neck injury.