Terez Paylor Dead: NFL Reporter Dies Suddenly at 37

Terez Paylor death

Yahoo Sports Yahoo Sports' NFL sports reporter Terez Paylor died on February 9, 2021.

Terez Paylor, one of the leading NFL reporters for Yahoo Sports, died on February 9, 2021, as first reported by his fiancée Ebony Reed.

In a statement shared on Twitter, Reed said, “While we are shocked and saddened by Terez Paylor’s sudden passing, we also celebrate his extraordinary life that touched so many. Terez was an exceptional journalist whose passion for football made him a respected voice.”

“His legacy will leave an enduring impact on sports journalists, the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs, and their fans. More important, Terez was a devoted son, grandson, brother, and an adoring fiancé, and a wonderful friend to so many. To know him was to love him. He will be dearly missed.”

While a cause of death was not immediately revealed, Yahoo Sports Editor-in-Chief Johnn Ludden also released an official statement following Paylor’s sudden death. Ludden said, “We are heartbroken to learn that our friend and teammate Terez Paylor has passed away. Terez was a dogged, thoughtful report to many who knew him in the NFL. To us, he was a friend who always had a warm smile and a kind word.”

“He cared deeply about his family, was passionate about his work and remained intensely proud of his Detroit and Kansas City roots,” Ludden continued. “Our sympathy is with Terez’s family and everyone who knew and cared about him.”

Paylor, originally from Kansas City, Missouri, was the host of “The Terez Paylor Show” on 610KSportsKC Radio and a Pro Football Hall of Fame Voter.

Here’s what you need to know about Terez Paylor:


Paylor Graduated from Howard University & Spent Nearly 5 Years Working at The Kansas City Star


Paylor earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Howard University, according to his Linkedin profile. After graduating in 2006, he worked his way up the ranks at the Kansas City Star. His first beat as a reporter was writing about high school sports and after covering the University of Missouris as a beat writer, started to cover the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013.

Paylor spent nearly five years as the Chiefs beat writer before becoming a senior NFL writer for Yahoo Sports. Following the news of his death, the Kansas City Star published a moving tribute article written by Paylor’s former co-worker, Sam Mellinger. He wrote:

Terez was so damn smart, both intellectually and with people. He knew his writing was raw when he started here. We talked about that. He asked a million questions to a hundred writers. He studied. He worked. Before you knew it, he was excellent, pridefully planning and producing long features. He did that, with sweat.

Terez’s genius had nothing to do with turning a phrase, though. He knew football and the people who loved it. He built and executed a plan that quickly made him one of America’s best football beat writers — an enormously competitive field.


Paylor is the 3rd NFL Reporter to Die this Past Week


It’s been a devastating week in the world of sportswriters this week. On February 5, NFL.com reporter and Around the NFL podcast host Chris Wesseling died at age 46 following a battle with cancer.

On February 7, ESPN’s SportsCenter reporter Pedro Gomez unexpectedly died at the age of 58.

ESPN writer Jeff Passan tweeted on Tuesday, “Another terrible, unspeakable loss. Terez was so talented, and all of us who knew him were so proud to see him grow at Yahoo into one of the best football writers, reporters and podcasters around. He was a great, kind person. God, he had the best laugh. We’ll all miss him.”

Jemele Hill also commented on the tragic amount of deaths in the sports journalism world this past week. She tweeted, “I didn’t know Terez but several of my friends work at Yahoo and my heart goes out to them as well as Terez’s family. I don’t know … just seems like we’re losing a lot of good folks lately.”


Tribute Filled Social Media Following the News of Paylor’s Death


Paylor’s final article, which discussed the intricacies of the Chiefs’ loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Super Bowl LV, was published on February 8.

On February 9, instead of Twitter being filled with clips from his show or shared posts of his most recent articles, the social media site filled with heartfelt tributes from his friends, fans, fellow sportswriters, and NFL teams.

ESPN’s Monday Night Football host Louis Riddick tweeted, “Wait a minute…this is just not f’ing right. What’s going on!!! Listen. Terez Paylor was my guy. Respected him to the fullest. 100%. He was real, talented, intelligent, genuine…I loved talking ball with the man. This is just devastating in every way. My condolences. I’m numb.”

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