Vontae Davis, former NFL star, found dead in Miami home at age 35

By | April 2, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 03: Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis (21) warms up before the Indianapolis Colts training camp on August 3, 2017 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.  (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Former NFL cornerback Vontae Davis has died at the age of 35. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Vontae Davis, former NFL cornerback for the Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills, has died. All three teams confirmed the news on Monday. He was 35, just two months shy of his 36th birthday.

The cause and circumstances of his death are unknown. According to the Davie Police Department, Davis was found dead in his Florida home Monday morning after being discovered by the home assistant, according to ESPN Colts reporter Stephen Holder. An investigation into the death is currently underway, although investigators have said they do not expect foul play.

Davis, who spent a decade in the NFL, is best known for his abrupt retirement in 2018. During halftime of the Bills’ Week 2 game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Davis retired and subsequently released a lengthy statement saying: explained his move.

“Today on the field, reality hit me fast and hard: I shouldn’t be there anymore. It is more important to me and my family to walk away healthy than to willfully embrace the warrior mentality and limp away too late.”

After his sudden retirement, Davis seemed to be in a good place. The Washington Post profiled him in late 2019, a year after he left the sport, and he had recently published “Middle School Rules,” a children’s book in which professional athletes share the lessons they learned growing up.

Davis shared his own story in the book: a rough upbringing in Washington, D.C. with an abusive father and a drug-addicted mother. His grandmother rescued him and his six siblings, including former NFL tight end Vernon Davis, by taking them out of foster care and adopting him. In school, Davis excelled athletically in both football and track, eventually choosing to attend Illinois. He was a first-round draft pick in 2009 and was a two-time All-Pro during his NFL career.

Davis was arrested two months ago in Miami for driving under the influence. He hit a truck that was pulled over with a flat tire and was then found sleeping on the side of the road when police arrived. He admitted to the police at the scene that he had been drinking.

As news of Davis’ death began to spread, tributes appeared on social media. Colts owner Jim Irsay and former teammates Pat McAfee and TY Hilton all shared their feelings about Davis’ sudden passing, as did many others.

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