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Ex-Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas announces retirement from NFL

One of the top wide receivers of the past decade officially called it quits Monday.

Demaryius Thomas, a former first-round pick of the Denver Broncos, announced his retirement.

"It was a tough decision, a real tough decision," Thomas told the Broncos' official team website. "... Always as a kid or always when I did something, it was always [giving] my best to go and go and go. And football was my go. Every year I tried to get better and better, and I knew I was aging, of course. It was something tough, but I'm grateful I did 10, 11 years. I'm so grateful for that and now I can move on. I'm happy, I'm healthy. And now I can try to find my next itch."

The first receiver taken in the 2010 NFL Draft -- three spots ahead of where Denver selected Tim Tebow -- Thomas grew into an athletic mismatch and yards after catch demon. Injuries derailed much of the first two years of his career, but when Peyton Manning joined the Broncos in 2012, Thomas' production shot through the roof.

In Manning's offense, Thomas emerged as the Broncos' No. 1 receiver and would earn five straight Pro Bowl selections. He was the centerpiece of one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history, helped Manning break records and aided the Broncos in getting to two Super Bowls, winning the second.

"I wouldn't say took off for me, I would say took off for us as a whole group," Thomas said. "We learned as a group because I had games where I had over [100] yards before he got there. ... And then having the group learning together as a whole, as one, thinking like one, that's when the best came out of all of us."

After eight and a half seasons in Denver, Thomas was traded to Houston midway through the 2018 season. He played seven games for the Texans before an Achilles injury ended his campaign.

Thomas signed with the New England Patriots in 2019 but was cut before the season. He re-signed in New England and was subsequently traded to the New York Jets. He appeared in 11 games -- 10 starts -- for Gang Green in 2019, catching 36 passes for 433 yards and one TD. He did not play in 2020.

The 33-year-old retires after compiling 724 receptions for 9,763 yards and 63 TDs. Thomas ranks 53rd all time in receiving yards. He's a near lock to one day become a member of the Broncos Ring of Fame.

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