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Retired NFL Player Vontae Davis Found Dead at 35

Retired Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis has died in Florida at the age of 35, confirmed after speaking with local officials.

Police said they were called on Monday by a “house assistant” who found the longtime NFL player, known for retiring mid-game in 2019, dead at his home in Southwest Ranches, a suburb outside of Miami.

“Preliminary information suggests that foul play is not involved,” the Davie Police Department said while noting that the investigation is ongoing.

Authorities said on Tuesday morning that an autopsy had not yet been conducted, and a cause of death has not yet been determined.

Officials also confirmed that upon completion of an autopsy, it would likely take “several weeks” for the results to come in from the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Word quickly spread on social media as several of Davis’ former teammates and others in the industry expressed their shock and condolences over the player’s death.

“Extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Vontae Davis,” Jim Irsay, CEO of the Indianapolis Colts, one of Davis’ former teams, said in a post on X. “A great guy, teammate, player.”

“Devastating and Heartbreaking news,” Chuck Pagano, the Colts’ former head coach, said in a post, adding that he “Loved [Davis] like a son.”

Davis made waves when he abruptly ended his football career during a game in 2019, quitting his team at halftime and retiring. The Bills were trailing the Chargers 28-6 at home when Davis, 30, called it quits in the locker room at the interval.

He released a statement shortly afterward that read in part, “This Isn’t how I pictured retiring from the NFL.”

“But in my 10th NFL season I have been doing what my body has been programmed to do. Get ready to play on game day. I’ve endured multiple injuries and played through many different injuries throughout my career and over the last few weeks, this was the latest physical challenge.”

“Everybody obviously recalls how he retired, which was at halftime of a game, which is hilarious, but such a Vontae move,” Davis’ former teammate, Colts punter Pat McAfee, said Monday on The Pat McAfee Show.

“Literally, if you knew him, you loved him, and you enjoyed the hell out of him…I haven’t talked to him in months, and obviously I’m never gonna get to do it again,” McAfee continued.

Defensive back Darius Butler, another former teammate, also appeared on the show and said he heard about Davis’ death Monday morning but hesitated to spread the word because he did not want to be the first to announce it.

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“It’s April 1. Nobody would play a sick joke like this,” Butler said during the episode.

“35 years old, birthday around the corner. Lived his dream, obviously, to play football,” he said, adding that Davis “lived his life to the beat of his own drum.”

Before his time with the Bills, Davis spent six years with the Indianapolis Colts, making two Pro Bowls in 2014 and 2015. He began his career playing for the Miami Dolphins from 2009 to 2011.

Over 10 years, Davis played in 121 games, making 22 interceptions and 97 pass deflections.

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