Ex-NFL Player Who Retired at Halftime Dead at 35

Pro-Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis found dead at his Florida residence; foul play not suspected
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 2, 2024 11:06 AM CDT
Former NFL Player Vontae Davis Dead at 35
Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis watches from the sidelines during a game in 2016. Davis was found dead in his South Florida home on Monday, April 1, 2024.   (Daniel Gluskoter/File)

Former Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis was found dead in his South Florida home on Monday, but police say no foul play is suspected. Police in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Davie said they responded to a medical emergency at Davis' home Monday morning, but the 35-year-old was dead when officers arrived. No cause of death has been released pending autopsy results. Police said the investigation is still active. Davis played for 10 seasons in the NFL after being drafted 25th overall by the Dolphins in 2009 out of Illinois, reports the AP, and famously retired at halftime of a game. "I no longer wanted to sacrifice my body where it didn't benefit me moving forward," he told CNN at the time. "Reality hit me fast and hard: I shouldn't be out there anymore."

  • From the Dolphins: "We are heartbroken by the sudden passing of former Dolphins CB Vontae Davis and extend our deepest condolences to his family & loved ones during this difficult time," the Dolphins wrote on X. Davis played three seasons for Miami before being traded to Indianapolis just before the 2012 season.
  • From the Colts: He played six seasons with the Colts, and was selected for the Pro Bowl twice. Team owner Jim Irsay offered his prayers to Davis' family and shared a photo of Davis in a Colts jersey. "Extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Vontae Davis. A great guy, teammate, player," Irsay wrote. The Colts called Davis "a standout player in his six seasons with the Horseshoe, but he was an even better teammate who carried a smile and positive energy every day."
  • More on that retirement: Davis signed with the Buffalo Bills for 2018 but abruptly retired at halftime of the season's second game. "I come from very humble beginnings," Davis said at the time. "My mother was addicted to drugs, my father an alcoholic. ... And when you come out of situations like that, you're just not considered a quitter. I don't think I quit. (The game) no longer serves me mentally, physically, and emotionally. That's what I would tell people who say I quit."
(More NFL stories.)

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