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Peyton Manning on Demaryius Thomas' Death: WR an Even Better Person Than Player

Adam WellsDecember 10, 2021

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, left, congratulates wide receiver Demaryius Thomas after Thomas scored a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

After news of Demaryius Thomas' death on Thursday night, tributes from across the NFL have been pouring in for the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver. 

Peyton Manning, who spent four seasons playing alongside Thomas with the Denver Broncos, released a statement through the team's public relations staff.

"D.T. was a better person than he was a player, and he was a Hall of Fame player," said Manning. "That tells you how good of a person he was. He treated my kids like they were his own. He was there for every teammate’s charity event."

Per Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post, police in Roswell, Georgia confirmed that Thomas was found dead in his home on Thursday evening. 

An official cause of death has yet to be announced, but police said preliminary information indicates it was related to a medical issue. 

LaTonya Bonseigneur, Thomas' first cousin, told Paul Newberry of the Associated Press that the family believes his death is related to seizures he had been having for more than one year:

"He had been suffering from seizures for over a year, and we believe he had a seizure when he was showering. He was alone and a friend couldn’t get hold of him, so he called his driver, who has a key because of these seizures, and he went into his home and found him in the shower."

Denver selected Thomas with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. He played 10 seasons in the league with the Broncos (2010-18), Houston Texans (2018) and New York Jets (2019). 

Thomas played in two Super Bowls with the Broncos, winning one in 2015. 

The New England Patriots signed Thomas before the 2019 season, but he was traded to the Jets before appearing in a game with the team. 

Thomas was one of the best wide receivers in the NFL from the previous decade. He had five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from 2012 to 2016. The Georgia Tech alum set the Broncos' single-season franchise record with 1,619 yards in 2014.