Former CB Vontae Davis Dies At 35

Vontae Davis, who played 10 NFL seasons as a cornerback, has died. He was 35. Davis was found at a Southwest Ranches, Florida, residence, according to Julian Quintana of 7News.

Personnel from the Broward County Medical Examiners Office, along with Davie Police, were at the scene Monday. No foul play is believed to have been involved, according to police, though a death investigation is underway, 7News reports. The Southwest Ranches home is owned by Davis’ grandmother.

Jim Irsay has confirmed Davis’ death, calling the former Colts cornerback a “great guy, teammate and player.” The younger brother of former tight end Vernon Davis, Vontae played for the Dolphins, Colts and Bills from 2009-18. He spent most of his time in Miami and Indianapolis, becoming a Pro Bowler after being traded to the Colts.

The Dolphins used a first-round pick on Davis in 2009, selecting him 25th overall out of Illinois. Entering the NFL four years after his brother, Vontae played three seasons in Miami. He started 36 games for the Dolphins but ended up a Colt during training camp in 2012. Joe Philbin‘s first Dolphins season produced a memorable Hard Knocks segment in which Davis trade negotiations unfolded. The Colts ended up acquiring the talented corner for a 2013 second-round pick and a conditional selection that did not end up conveying.

The Colts did not extend Davis immediately, waiting until the 2014 free agency period to re-sign him. That decision paid off. Davis re-signed on a four-year, $36MM deal and continued his run as a starter with the team. Indianapolis deployed Davis as a starter in 76 games, never using him as a backup. This stretch led to Pro Bowl invites in 2014 and 2015.

Davis was a key starter during the Colts’ early Andrew Luck years, helping the team win three playoff games — including a 28-point comeback over the Chiefs in the 2013 wild-card round. Davis made a big impact in the 2014 playoffs, breaking up seven passes as the Colts toppled the Bengals and Broncos en route to the AFC championship game. That wrapped a memorable season for the accomplished CB. Pro Football Focus viewed Davis as a dominant corner in 2014, ranking him first overall at the position that year. His 93.3 grade doubles as the best cornerback season the advanced metrics website has graded in its existence, which spans back to the mid-2000s. Davis intercepted four passes that year and broke up 18.

Signing with the Bills in 2018, Davis memorably retired at halftime of his first game with Buffalo. He told his position coach he was done just before the half in the Bills’ ’18 opener. That abruptly concluded a career that included 22 interceptions, 97 pass breakups and 113 starts.

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