Super Bowl-winning former NFL receiver dies at 33

Washington (AFP) – Former NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos, died on Thursday at the age of 33 after an apparent "medical issue," US police said.


"Preliminary information is that his death stems from a medical issue and our investigators currently have no reason to believe otherwise," a spokesperson for the police department in Roswell, Georgia told US media.

Thomas, a four-time pro-bowler, spent most of his NFL career with the Broncos, where he was part of the team that beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 in February of 2016.

He went on to play for the Houston Texans and New York Jets before retiring in June of this year.

"We are devastated and completely heartbroken," the Broncos said in a statement on Twitter.

"Demaryius' humility, warmth, kindness and infectious smile will always be remembered by those who knew him and loved him."

Broncos wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni, who coached Thomas for one season, also posted a tribute on Twitter.

"I'm at a total loss. I'm sick... I'm crying."

Thomas starred at Georgia Tech before entering the NFL as the 22nd overall draft pick by the Broncos in 2010.

He posted five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in Denver from 2012-2016 and was a key receiver during quarterback Peyton Manning's years with the Broncos.

Thomas finished his career with 724 catches for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns.

Born on Christmas Day, Thomas was found dead just 16 days shy of his 34th birthday.