Former NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who also spent parts of his career with the New England Patriots, has passed away. He was only 33 years old.
Thomas was found deceased in his home in Roswell, Ga. on Thursday night, with local police confirming his death in a statement. Based on early information, the death is believed to have been caused by a medical issue.
Following a college career at Georgia Tech, Thomas entered the NFL as the 22nd overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft. Over the next few years, he developed into one of the most prolific wide receivers in the league and key member of the Denver Broncos offense: Thomas was voted to four Pro Bowls and helped the Broncos win Super Bowl 50.
After a brief stint with the Houston Texans in 2018, Thomas joined the Patriots on a one-year deal the following offseason. He spent training camp and preseason with the organization, but never appeared in an actual regular season game. Instead, he was traded to the New York Jets in early September.
Thomas spent one season in New York and after being out of football in 2020 officially announced his retirement earlier this year.
“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 only spent a few months of his 11-year career with the Patriots, but he apparently left a positive impression on his teammates. Several of them took to social media after news broke to share their thoughts on Thomas:
Can’t believe the DT news…rest in heaven man…spent a few weeks together and DT was flat out a GREAT dude…impacted so many lives #RIP— Devin&Jason McCourty (@McCourtyTwins) December 10, 2021
Rip DT bro he was real one— Jakobi Meyers (@jkbmyrs5) December 10, 2021
RIP DT since the day I met you always been the realest— Brandon Bolden (@BB_HulkSmash) December 10, 2021
Devastating news. I only played with DT for a couple weeks, but he immediately made an impression. Will be missed by many pic.twitter.com/4iWe0gQ1ku— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) December 10, 2021
Im so sad to wake up this morning to hear about the passing of my friend Demariyus Thomas. We were all blessed with his humility and positive spirit, and we will all miss him. This photo is from the Hall of Fame this past August, a source of light as always. RIP pic.twitter.com/o3hvQN0cRz— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) December 10, 2021