Former NFL receiver Demaryius Thomas dead at age 33 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Former NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas has died at the age of 33.
Thomas was found at his Georgia home on Thursday and a preliminary investigation indicates his death involved a medical issue, Roswell police told NBC affiliate KXIA.
The 10-year veteran of the NFL had announced his retirement as a Denver Bronco in June.
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"We are devastated and completely heartbroken," the Broncos tweeted early Friday. "Demaryius' humility, warmth, kindness and infectious smile will always be remembered by those who knew him and loved him."
Thomas, drafted out of Georgia Tech by the Broncos with the 22nd overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, was a five-time Pro Bowler during his career. He won a Super Bowl with the Broncos in 2016.
Thomas also played for the Houston Texans, New England Patriots and New York Jets, and finished his career with 724 receptions for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns.
The most memorable play of his career came in 2011 when he caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from Tim Tebow to lift the Broncos to a 29-23 overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wild Card game.
Peyton Manning, who played the final four seasons of his career with the Broncos — all with Thomas — said he was "absolutely devastated," and had been texted with Thomas as recently as Tuesday.
“D.T. was a better person than he was a player, and he was a Hall of Fame player. That tells you how good of a person he was. He treated my kids like they were his own. He was there for every teammate's charity event," Manning said, according to Denver Broncos Chief Communications Officer Patrick Smyth.
More of Thomas' former teammates also reacted to the stunning news on social media.
"D.T. was the complete package as a wide receiver, growing into one of the very best at his position,'' Broncos president of football operations John Elway said in June after Thomas retired as a Bronco. "The combination of his size, speed, strength and athleticism was unmatched. Demaryius' remarkable consistency and production were instrumental in our offense setting historic records and our team winning a lot of games, including two AFC Championships and Super Bowl 50."
More to come...