Teams pay tribute after former NFL cornerback Vontae Davis dies aged 35

Two-time Pro Bowl CB dramatically retired from the sport in the middle of a game in 2018

Vontae Davis gives his gloves to a fan after an NFL game between Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans in 2015. Davis was found dead in his South Florida home on Monday. AP
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Former Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis passed away in his South Florida home on Monday, local police said.

Two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Davis was found dead at a home owned by his grandmother in Florida. No foul play was involved, according to the police report, with the investigation still ongoing.

"This morning, Davie Police Officers responded in reference to a medical call," police in Davie, South Florida, said in a statement.

"Officers were called to the residence by the house assistant, who found the homeowner deceased. We can confirm that the deceased individual is Vontae Davis age 35.

"Preliminary information suggests that foul play is not involved."

Davis spent 10 seasons in the NFL, beginning his career at the Miami Dolphins in 2009 before joining the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, where he remained until the 2017 season.

In 2018 he signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills, but dramatically retired from the sport at half time during the Bills' 31-20 defeat to the Los Angeles Chargers.

In a statement after the game, Davis said he realised his heart was no longer in the NFL.

"Today on the field, really hit me fast and hard: I shouldn't be out there any more," Davis said in an Instagram post. "While I was on the field, I just didn't feel right.

"It's more important for me and my family to walk away healthy than to willfully embrace the warrior mentality and limp away too late."

The Dolphins, Colts and Bills offered their condolence to Davis' family and loved ones.

"We are heartbroken by the sudden passing of former Dolphins CB Vontae Davis and extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones during this difficult time," the Dolphins posted on social media.

Colts team owner Jim Irsay offered his prayers to Davis' family in a statement.

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

“He was 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,” the Colts said in a statement.

"We are saddened to learn of the passing of Vontae Davis. We are thinking of his friends, family, and loved ones during this difficult time," the Bills posted.

Davis earned back-to-back Pro Bowl selections in 2014 and 2015 and finished his career with 22 interceptions, 97 passes defenced and 395 tackles.

Updated: April 02, 2024, 8:43 AM