Former Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert passed away on Monday. The Denver Broncos, where he had spent the last five seasons as the team’s pro personnel director and senior personnel advisor, announced his passing. Heckert had recently stepped away from the Broncos to deal with his diagnosis of amyloidosis, a rare blood disorder, which is reportedly the cause of death according to NFL.com.
Heckert was the Browns’ general manager from 2010 through 2012, and, as Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot pointed out, was also the man who drafted cornerback Joe Haden, safety T.J. Ward and receiver Josh Gordon during his tenure.
The Browns released the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Tom Heckert and share our sincerest condolences with his family and friends, including the many lives he impacted with the Browns organization and throughout the entire NFL during his established career.”
Former Browns players took to Twitter to pay their respects:
Saddened to hear about the passing of Tom Heckert. He brought me to Cleveland and gave me an opportunity when many wouldn’t. I’ll always be grateful for that. My condolences to the Heckert family.— Chris Ogbonnaya (@ChrisOgbonnaya) August 6, 2018
I’m saddened to hear the news about the passing of my former GM Tom Heckert. May God bless his close family & friends.— D'Qwell Jackson (@DQ52) August 6, 2018
Saddened to hear about the passing of Tom Heckert (Heck) my former GM in Cleveland and a major reason why I signed with the Broncos after you came to Denver. Thank you for drafting me! Thank you for bringing me to Denver! You will be missed! Condolences to the Heckert family— T.J. Ward (@BossWard43) August 6, 2018
Truly saddened to hear about the passing of my former Gm Tom heckert! Sending prayers and my condolences to his friends and family— Joe Haden (@joehaden23) August 6, 2018
My heart goes out to the family of Tom Heckert. A great football talent evaluator and an even better person. You’ll truly be missed but never forgotten.— Joe Thomas (@joethomas73) August 6, 2018
Heckert’s NFL career spanned 27 years, beginning in the Miami Dolphins’ scouting department. He then served as director and vice president of pro personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles before being named their general manager in 2006. He served as Cleveland’s general manager from 2010 through 2012 before heading to Denver’s front office in 2013.
Heckert was 51 years old.
Dawgs by Nature sends our love and condolences to Heckert’s family and his numerous friends, colleagues and players in their time of loss.