Monday, April 15, 2024

Vontae Davis dies at 35: Former NFL Pro Bowler, who retired at halftime of game in 2018, found dead in Florida

Former NFL Pro Bowler Vontae Davis has passed away at the age of the 35. Police haven’t released very many details about the situation, but Davis was found unresponsive at his home on Monday. 

The former NFL cornerback was living in Southwest Ranches, Florida, which is located roughly 20 miles west of Fort Lauderdale. Authorities have announced that they don’t currently believe that foul play was involved in Davis’ death.

Davis’ passing comes less than six years after he played his final NFL snap. The two-time Pro Bowler famously retired at halftime of a game in 2018. During the final game of his career, which came with the Buffalo Bills, Davis realized after the team’s first defensive series that he was done with football.  

“I went to the bench after that series and it just hit me,” Davis said at the time. “I don’t belong on that field anymore.”

His retirement decision came during a Week 2 game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Davis was just 30 years old when he decided to retire. 

“Leaving was therapeutic,” Davis said. “I left everything the league wanted me to be, playing for my teammates while injured, the gladiator mentality, it all just popped. And when it popped, I just wanted to leave it all behind. So that’s why I don’t care what people say. That experience was personal and not meant for anyone else to understand. It was me cold turkey leaving behind an identity that I carried with me for so long.”

Despite retiring at such a young age, Davis still put together an impressive NFL career. His first season came with the Dolphins after Miami made him the 25th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. During his rookie year, not only did he see action in all 16 games — with nine starts — but he also led the team in interceptions with four. 

Davis lasted three seasons in Miami before the Dolphins made the decision to trade him to the Colts after the 2011 season. His trade to the Colts was actually documented on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” in August 2012. 

During his six seasons in Indianapolis, Davis played some of his best football, which is a big reason why he ended up being voted to two Pro Bowls (2014-15). Davis recorded four interceptions in each of those two seasons, which ranked second on the team in both years. 

Colts owner Jim Irsay shared his condolences on social media

“Extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Vontae Davis,” Irsay wrote. “A great guy, teammate, player. My prayers to Vontae’s family.”

Davis ended up spending a total of 10 seasons in the NFL. He is survived by multiple family members, including his older brother, Vernon Davis, who spent 15 seasons as an NFL tight end. 

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