Former NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, a four-time Pro Bowler with the Denver Broncos, has died at the age of 33.
Thomas was found deceased in his home on Thursday night, the Roswell (Georgia) Police Department confirmed in a statement to NFL Media. Preliminary information is that Thomas’ death stems from a medical issue, and Roswell PD investigators currently have no reason to believe otherwise.
“We are devastated and completely heartbroken,” a statement from the Broncos read, in part. “Demaryius’ humility, warmth, kindness and infectious smile will always be remembered by those who knew him and loved him.”
Thomas was a standout with the Broncos over a 10-year NFL career that finished with brief stints with the Houston Texans and New York Jets. He announced his retirement in June.
“It was a tough decision, a real tough decision,” Thomas said at the time. “Always as a kid or always when I did something, it was always [giving] my best to go and go and go. And football was my go. Every year I tried to get better and better, and I knew I was aging, of course. It was something tough, but I’m grateful I did 10, 11 years. I’m so grateful for that and now I can move on. I’m happy, I’m healthy. And now I can try to find my next itch.”
Thomas posted five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in Denver from 2012-2016. He was a key receiver during Peyton Manning’s years with the Broncos, and was on the winning side of Super Bowl 50 when the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers. In 2014, he posted career highs of 111 catches and 1,694 receiving yards. For his career, Thomas caught 724 passes for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns.
A Georgia native, Thomas was a multi-sport athlete at Dexter West Laurens High.
Thomas played collegiately at Georgia Tech. Over his last two seasons there, in coach Paul Johnson’s triple-option offense, he saw few passes but was targeted for deep balls behind run-focused defenses. As a senior in that role, he averaged a whopping 25.1 yards per catch (46 for 1,154) with eight touchdowns.
The Broncos selected him with the 22nd overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft and, at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, he developed into one of the NFL’s most dangerous big targets at the position.
“You could always count on D.T. He belongs among the greatest players in Broncos history for what he’s meant to this organization on the field and out in the community,” Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway said of Thomas upon his retirement.
Born Christmas Day, 1987, Thomas was found dead just 16 days short of his 34th birthday.
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