After a year away from football, Demaryius Thomas decided to hang up his cleats for good. Thomas announced his retirement with the Denver Broncos in a five-minute speech explaining his decision, giving up football after spending 10 years with three different teams.
"There's so many things I can say. I'm humble, grateful, appreciative," Thomas said in the video posted by the Broncos. "I'm just happy to say I'm done and (football) did me well. I just wanted to be considered one of the best to come through Denver. I did my best each and every game -- but it wasn't really about me. I just wanted to go out there and do what's best for the team.
"I've been just trying to find myself. Leaving football is a tough thing. I was trying to find what I wanted to do next and build a relationship where I can help people, trying to find something that I love."
Thomas finished his career with 724 receptions for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns with the Broncos, Houston Texans, and New York Jets. He ranks second in Broncos history in receiving yards (9,055) and receiving touchdowns (60), and third in receptions (665). A four-time Pro Bowler, Thomas was also a two-time, second-team All-Pro with the Broncos and was the leading receiver on the Super Bowl 50 championship team. He played in 132 consecutive games (regular season and postseason) from 2011 to 2018.
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Thomas owns 16 Broncos franchise records, including receiving yards in a regular season (1,619 in 2014) and receiving touchdowns in a regular season (14 in 2013). He has the most receptions for the franchise in the playoffs (53) and most receptions in a single postseason (28 in 2013). He's tied with Rod Smith for most postseason receiving touchdowns (six). Thomas also caught Peyton Manning's 509th touchdown pass, which was then an NFL record.
Per Mike Klis of 9News in Denver, Thomas will be honored at the Broncos' home opener vs. the New York Jets on Sept. 26 with a video tribute and will serve as the honorary team captain. Broncos president of football operations John Elway released a statement on Thomas' retirement, signifying the impact he had on the franchise.
"Demaryius had an incredible NFL career and was such a big part of everything we accomplished during his many years as a Bronco," Elway said, via the Broncos website. "D.T. was the complete package as a wide receiver, growing into one of the very best at his position. The combination of his size, speed, strength and athleticism was unmatched. Demaryius' remarkable consistency and production were instrumental in our offense setting historic records and our team winning a lot of games, including two AFC Championships and Super Bowl 50.
"Equally as impressive as his many catches, big plays and touchdowns was the fact he didn't miss a game for nearly seven years in a row. You could always count on D.T. He belongs among the greatest players in Broncos history for what he's meant to this organization on the field and out in the community. We appreciate everything Demaryius did for us and congratulate him on his retirement from the NFL."