NATIONAL NEWS

Former NFL star wide receiver Demaryius Thomas dies at age 33

Dec 10, 2021, 4:33 PM
Former NFL star wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, seen here in October 2018 in Denver, Colorado, dies...
Former NFL star wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, seen here in October 2018 in Denver, Colorado, dies at age 33. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Demaryius Thomas, who played 10 seasons in the NFL and is considered one of the best wide receivers in Denver Broncos history, was found dead at his home in Roswell, Georgia, according to officials. He was 33 years old.

Based on preliminary information, his death stemmed from a medical issue, Officer Tim Lupo of the Roswell Police Department said in an email to CNN.

“We are devastated and completely heartbroken,” the Broncos said in a statement. “Demaryius’ humility, warmth, kindness and infectious smile will always be remembered by those who knew him and loved him.”

The NFL issued a statement saying, “The NFL family mourns the tragic loss of Demaryius Thomas and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, who played four seasons with Thomas in Denver, said the wide receiver was a better person than he was a player.

“He treated my kids like they were his own,” he said in a statement released by the Broncos. “He was there for every teammate’s charity event. I texted with D.T. on Tuesday. He was talking about a TD audible we called vs. Arizona in 2014. Absolutely devasted.”

Garett Bolles, a Broncos offensive tackle, remembered how Thomas welcomed him to the team.

“He was one of the first people to reach out to me when I got drafted, still have the message that he left on my phone,” Bolles said Friday. “I played it yesterday. …

“I know if he was here today, one thing he’d tell me is ‘just keep working.’ That’s one thing he always did, he was always working, he was always the hardest worker.”

Denver head coach Vic Fangio said there will be a moment of silence, a pregame tribute, a helmet decal for Thomas and “maybe another thing or two” on Sunday when the Broncos face the Detroit Lions at home.

Thomas won 2 AFC championships and a Super Bowl

Thomas was born in Montrose, Georgia. After a standout collegiate career at Georgia Tech, Thomas was the first wide receiver selected in the 2010 NFL Draft, going No. 22 in the first round to the Broncos.

Thomas spent the majority of his NFL career with Denver, winning two AFC championships and Super Bowl 50. He was selected to multiple Pro Bowls and is second all-time in Broncos history in receiving yards.

Thomas was traded to the Houston Texans during the 2018 season and later finished his career with the New York Jets. He announced his retirement from the NFL in June.

In 2015, President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Thomas’ mother, Katrina Stuckey Smith, who was 15 years into a 20-year federal sentence for drug distribution. Obama later commuted the sentence of Thomas’ grandmother Minnie Pearl Thomas, who was serving a life sentence for cocaine trafficking.

The two had been arrested together on drug charges when Thomas was only 11 years old, according to the Denver Broncos official website.

During the Super Bowl 50 celebration at the White House, Thomas passed the President a note thanking him for his mother’s release and spoke to him about his grandmother too, according to The Denver Post. Obama commuted the sentence of hundreds of nonviolent drug offenders during his time in office.

“I just found out right when I came in from weights,” Thomas told The Post. “I had no idea. I was surprised. I was excited, too, it came this early. I heard 200-plus people get to have a second chance, and for my grandmother to be one of them, it’s a blessing.”

Broncos president of football operations John Elway tweeted Friday, “There are no words to describe the sudden loss of such a special player and special person. Demaryius overcame tremendous adversity in his life, growing into a great leader and one of the very best. He was light-hearted, easy going and loved by everyone. We will miss you, D.T.”

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the number of times Thomas was selected for the Pro Bowl.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Clarence Gilyard Jr. has died at the age of 66. (Arlene Richie/Shutterstock)...
Toyin Owoseje, CNN

Clarence Gilyard, ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ star, dead at 66

Clarence Gilyard, the actor best known for playing computer hacker Theo in "Die Hard" and naval flight officer Marcus "Sundown" Williams in "Top Gun," has died at the age of 66.
15 hours ago
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hea...
Michael Houck

Mitt Romney calls Trump a ‘gargoyle’ after dinner with Ye, Nick Fuentes

Utah Senator Mitt Romney called former President Donald Trump a gargoyle hanging over the Republican party after his dinner with white supremacist Nick Fuentes and rapper Ye.
15 hours ago
Tea time and Christmastime coincide at The Plaza's elegant Palm Court, where three holiday tea menu...
Marnie Hunter, CNN

15 luxury hotels that go all out for Christmas

These luxury hotels have the most glamorous Christmas decorations of the season.
15 hours ago
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 13: Defence ministers and delegates are seen at the start of the North ...
STEPHEN McGRATH, LORNE COOK and ELLEN KNICKMEYER, Associated Press

NATO renews membership vow to Ukraine, pledges arms and aid

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says war-torn Ukraine will one day become a member of the world’s largest security alliance
15 hours ago
The McGold Card is back at McDonald's. (McDonald's)...
Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

McDonald’s is giving people the chance to win free food for life

Beginning December 5, every order completed in the McDonald's app for at least $1 will enter customers into a contest to win a McGold Card.
15 hours ago
A woman in Minnesota loses peripheral vision from apparent exposure to mercury in beauty creams.
(T...
Meera Senthilingam, CNN

Mother loses peripheral vision from apparent exposure to mercury in beauty creams

A woman in Minnesota lost part of her vision and inadvertently put her entire household at risk of mercury poisoning, most likely from using beauty creams.
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Former NFL star wide receiver Demaryius Thomas dies at age 33