Demaryius Thomas Dead: Former Broncos Star Dies at 33: Police

Demaryius Thomas death

Getty Former NFL and Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.

Amid the Week 14 Thursday Night Football matchup on December 9, devastating news shocked the NFL world: Four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who spent nine seasons with the Denver Broncos, has died. He was 33 years old.

Altitude TV reporter Vic Lombardi and Fox 5 Sports reporter Miles Garrett were among the first to confirm the news on Twitter, the latter writing, “Just emailed Demaryius Thomas position coach while he was at West Laurens High School – Jeff Clayton. He tells me that the rumors are true. The former Georgia Tech and Broncos receiver has passed away at the age of 33.”

TMZ Sports’ Michael J. Babcock first shared details regarding the former NFL star’s cause of death on Twitter just before 10 p.m. MT: “Police tell us they found DT deceased in his Roswell, GA home tonight. Early indications are it was a medical issue. No foul play suspected. Rest in peace.”

KDVR News has since reported Thomas’ death stemmed repercussions from a vehicle crash in his home state of Georgia back 2019, per KOA Broncos reporter Benjamin Allbright. ESPN insider Adam Schefter is also reporting that “multiple former teammates said Thursday night Thomas might have suffered from seizures in recent months.”

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Demaryius Thomas

Getty

Thomas, a 2016 Super Bowl champion announced his retirement from the NFL in the summer of 2021. The Broncos selected Thomas with their first-round pick from the 2010 NFL draft. While his first few years were marred with injuries, Thomas soon became one of the most legendary players in franchise history throughout his nine-year tenure with the team.


Demaryius Thomas announces retirement from the NFL: 'I'm honored and I'm grateful'Super Bowl 50 champion and five-time Pro Bowl receiver Demaryius Thomas sits down to announce his retirement from the NFL and share his favorite memories from his career with the Broncos. Subscribe to Broncos » youtube.com/broncos2021-06-28T15:35:00Z

“It was a tough decision, a real tough decision,” Thomas told DenverBroncos.com, of stepping away from the NFL in June.

“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.”

The Georgia Tech alum was truly one of the greatest receivers to play in the NFL. Throughout his 10-year career, he caught 777 passes for 69 touchdowns and 10,522 total yards, including five straight seasons with over 1,000 yards from 2012 to 2016.


Thomas was Traded to Houston in 2018 & Played With the Jets Before Retirement

Demaryius Thomas

Getty

While Thomas racked up numerous franchise records with the Broncos, in 2014, he tallied a 226-yard game, and 1,619-yard season, still the most ever by a Denver receiver. He also caught quarterback Peyton Manning’s 509th career passing touchdown, an NFL record at the time.

After Thomas was traded to the Houston Texans in 2018, he was very much in the twilight of his incredible career. During his debut with the Texans, Thomas caught three receptions for 61 yards, per Broncos Wire.

After a brief preseason stint with the New England Patriots in 2019, Thomas was traded to the New York Jets, where he caught 36 balls for 433 yards and one touchdown in 11 games. He played his last NFL game as a member of the Jets in December 2019.


Thomas Was Not Married, Wanted to Teach & Work With Kids After Retirement

Demaryius Thomas

Getty

DT’s retirement was not an official goodbye to football. “I think my hardest thing with it is I love ball and I love teaching it,” Thomas said.

“I could develop to teach the game and be around guys. It’s excitement being around kids because that’s a plus for me. Even when I was in Denver I went to Boys & Girls Clubs, me and [Senior Manager of Community Development] Liz [Jeralds] used to hang out with the kids all the time. That’s one of the things I would miss, I think. And I think I want to stay around doing it, but I never know right now. I don’t know what’s the next goal. But my main thing is take it day by day and go from there.”

Thomas will be eligible for the Broncos Ring of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2026, five years following his retirement from the NFL.


Tributes to Thomas Filled Twitter Following the News of His Death

NFL players, analysts, fans, former teammates — Twitter filled with tributes and prayers to the receiver who died too soon.

ESPN’s senior Broncos writer Jeff Legwold candidly wrote, “I’ve done this job my entire adult life and I’ve known few people like Demaryius Thomas, who found a way to retain his humanity, kindness and joy of life in the most trying circumstances; who found a way to try to achieve on-field greatness as he lifted others along the way.”

Broncos legend Steve Atwater was among the first Denver icons to respond to the news: “RIP #DemaryiusThomas. My heart is hurting right now. We’ll never forget you my brother.”

Many took to social media to share their favorite memories, common among them was Thomas’ infamous 80-yard overtime touchdown from Tim Tebow against the Steelers in the 2012 AFC Wild Card game.

Rest in peace, Demaryius.

 

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