Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was found dead on Thursday (Dec. 9), police said. According to Roswell, Georgia police; Thomas was found dead at his home on Thursday night and may have passed away due to a medical issue. He was 33 years old.
LaTonya Bonseigneur, Thomas’ first cousin who he grew up with, told the Associated Press that he may have died from a seizure.
“He had been suffering from seizures for over a year and we believe he had a seizure when he was showering,” she said Friday (Dec. 10). “We’re not sure when he died. We just spoke with him yesterday.”
Thomas’ former teammates also said on Thursday that the Georgia native may have been suffering from seizures in recent months. On Friday morning, the Broncos released a statement about the tragic loss.
“We are devastated and completely heartbroken by the sudden, tragic passing of Demaryius Thomas,” it read. “D.T. was beloved by our entire organization, his teammates and coaches, and our fans. Recently retiring as a Bronco, we were very much looking forward to celebrating Demaryius for years to come as one of the greatest players in franchise history.”
The team acknowledge Thomas’ “record-setting” career and noted his generosity off the football field.
“D.T. loved giving back – especially spending time with children — and impacted countless lives through the Broncos Boys and Girls Club, hospital visits, his annual football camp and many other genuine interactions,” the statement read. “Demaryius’ humility, warmth, kindness and infectious smile will always be remembered by those who knew him and loved him.”
Peyton Manning, who played with Thomas for four seasons, also released a statement about his passing on Friday.
“DT 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,” Manning wrote. “He treated my kids like they were his own. He was there for every teammate’s charity event… Absolutely devastated.”
Thomas, who would have turned 34 this Christmas, had just retired from the NFL this June. The Broncos honored him during a game against the New York Jets in late September. Thomas was the first of two first-round picks for the Denver team in the 2010 NFL draft and played with the franchise for nine seasons. He was the Broncos’ second-leading receiver of all time, following Rod Smith; and third in team history for catches, behind Smith and Shannon Sharpe.
See statements and other tributes to Thomas on Twitter below. Rest in Peace.
We are devastated and completely heartbroken.
Demaryius' humility, warmth, kindness and infectious smile will always be remembered by those who knew him and loved him. pic.twitter.com/0GLZIr6UP3
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) December 10, 2021
Woke up and saw the really devastating news about my teammate and friend, Demaryius Thomas. So many are going to remember him for his athletic ability… but I’ll be remembering him for his kindness, his smile that would light up a room, and the love he had for those in his life. pic.twitter.com/gNVzmJ503X
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) December 10, 2021
Heartbroken 💔 pic.twitter.com/e3EbU0aPeP
— D-Ware (@DeMarcusWare) December 10, 2021
I learned so much from this man…one of the most powerful & graceful & smooth athletes I’ve ever been around…and then he was funny & smart & awesome to be around too…I am in tears…I love ya, DT! 🙏💔😢 pic.twitter.com/KXrlucJAQ4
— JoelDreessen (@JoelDreessen) December 10, 2021
Love forever bro 🕊 pic.twitter.com/eUQDBR8WP5
— Brandon Marshall (@BMarshh) 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
DT sat with my son son the entire plane ride home from Super Bowl, held him on his lap on Bus, carried him and hoisted him on fire truck during the parade and celebrated with him as if his own kid. I hope my son remembers 88. pic.twitter.com/tpByZZaklo
— Tyler Polumbus (@Tyler_Polumbus) December 10, 2021
— Brandon McManus (@thekidmcmanus) December 10, 2021
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) December 10, 2021
The NFL family mourns the tragic loss of Demaryius Thomas and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/rAXYguAUy1
— NFL (@NFL) December 10, 2021
RIP #DemaryiusThomas. My heart is hurting right now. We'll never forget you my brother.
— Steve Atwater (@SteveAtwater27) December 10, 2021