On Thursday night, NFL players and fans alike were devastated to hear that retired wideout Demaryius Thomas had passed away. Thomas was only 33 years old. The reports have been that Thomas suffered from seizures and may have had one in the shower this past weekend. While he is mostly remembered for his tenure with the Broncos, Thomas had a brief stint with the Texans at the end of 2018. He also spent time with the Patriots and Jets. On behalf of the BRB staff, our condolences go out to everyone affected, especially his family.
Thomas was selected 22nd overall in the 2010 NFL Draft out of Georgia Tech. One of his most memorable plays came in his second season, when he caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tim Tebow. This took place in a Wild Card matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers and also happened on the first play of overtime. The Broncos advanced to the divisional round, and Thomas finished the day with over 200 receiving yards.
Following the arrival of Peyton Manning in Denver, Thomas established himself as one of the best receivers in the league. In 2013, he finished the season with a career-high 14 touchdowns. The following year, he recorded more career highs in receptions (111) and receiving yards (1,619). In Thomas’ last season with Manning, the two won a Super Bowl together over the Panthers.
Thomas continued to be consistent after Manning’s retirement, which was a hard thing to do with the Broncos, given how much their franchise was changing. In 2018, Denver started a rebuild and traded Thomas to Houston in the process. The trade occurred halfway through the season, meaning Thomas only suited up in a Houston uniform 7 times. However, he was still a decent contributor, catching 23 passes for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns over that span.
In 2019, Thomas signed with the Patriots, but was let go during final roster cuts. He briefly rejoined the team on a new contract but never played a down for them. A few weeks later, Thomas signed with the Jets following a second release. In 11 games, he caught 36 passes for 433 yards and a touchdown.
After being a free agent for the entire 2020 season, Thomas officially announced his retirement in June of this year. While he certainly left a mark on the field, Thomas was constantly recognized for what he did away from football. He was an easy guy to root for, thanks to his positive attitude and community outreach. There were thousands of social media posts celebrating Thomas’ life just hours after the news came out, further emphasizing his widespread impact.
Demaryius Thomas has left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten. While we continue to mourn the loss, not only is it a reminder to be grateful for what we have, but it also gives us an opportunity to appreciate greatness. Rest easy, 88.