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.