Jared Lorenzen

Jared Lorenzen Passes Away

We have sad news today, as former NFL quarterback Jared Lorenzen has tragically passed away at the age of 38. We heard late last week that Lorenzen was battling major health issues, and he unfortunately succumbed to them. The cause of death wasn’t immediately clear, although his family had issued a statement last week saying he was battling kidney and heart problems.

Lorenzen’s family issued a statement through Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio (Twitter link). “It is with heavy hearts that the family of Jared Lorenzen, would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation for all of your support and prayers over the past 6 days,” the statement read. “We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Jared today, July 3, 2019. Again, we appreciate all of the warm wishes and prayers, but as a family, we would request your respect and privacy. We will offer arrangement information in the coming days. Please keep Jared’s family and especially his children, in your thoughts and prayers.”

Lorenzen starred at Kentucky in the early 2000’s, and then signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent back in 2004. He defied the odds by making the team, and would go on to serve as Eli Manning’s primary backup for a few seasons. Manning was never seriously injured so Lorenzen didn’t see the field too much, but he did win Super Bowl XLII with the team.

Shortly after, the Giants posted a statement to Twitter from Manning. “Jared was a great teammate and friend. We competed against each other in college and came to the Giants together. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I will always remember his competitive spirit and his good nature. Jared has left us all way too soon,” Manning said.

Lorenzen became a fan favorite in New York, and the fanbase affectionately gave him the nickname ‘Hefty Lefty.’ After being cut by the Giants he had a brief stint with the Lions, and then spent the next handful of years playing in various indoor football leagues. Lorenzen had been open about his struggles with his weight, admitting in retirement that he weighed as much as 500 pounds at one time.

He had made positive strides in dropping some of the weight, and his journey was chronicled in an ESPN E:60 feature last July. All of us here at PFR send our thoughts and condolences to the Lorenzen family.


Jared Lorenzen Battling Major Health Issues

Jared Lorenzen appeared in just four games during his NFL career, completing four of eight passes for 28 yards and rushing two times for a total of four yards. But he did serve as Eli Manning‘s backup QB in New York during the 2006-07 seasons, and his large frame and southpaw delivery made him more popular and more recognizable than most second-string signal-callers.

Now, though, the “Hefty Lefty” moniker hints at something more dangerous than novel. During his NFL days, Lorenzen was the heaviest QB in the league, checking in at 285 pounds. But two years ago, Lorenzen tipped the scales at over 500 pounds, and ESPN ran a story on his efforts to get healthy (video link). By April 2018, Lorenzen had reportedly shed 100 pounds, and while it’s unclear what his current weight is, his overall health has apparently deteriorated.

A statement from Lorenzen’s family (Twitter link via Matt Jones of KentuckySportsRadio.com) reads as follows:

“On Friday, June 28, Jared began playing a bigger, more important game than he’s ever played before. Jared had not been feeling well for a few weeks and that finally caught up with him. He was brought to the hospital and fairly quickly was admitted to the ICU. Jared is battling an infection, kidney and heart issues. He is fighting with everything he has and his immediate family is by his side. We will attempt to update as often as possible, but please respect that some aspects of this journey are private matters.”

Lorenzen was a standout at the University of Kentucky from 2000-03, compiling over 10,000 passing yards and 78 touchdowns to 41 picks. After he was waived by the Colts in 2008, he hooked on with several indoor football league clubs and even served as the commissioner of the Ultimate Indoor Football League. Last January, he joked that he would be open to joining the XFL as part of its reboot.

We at PFR wish Lorenzen the best in his latest battle.