Derrick Thomas Biography, Stats, Career, Net Worth

John Rizzo

Derrick Thomas was a linebacker born and raised in Miami, Florida. He played college football at the University of Alabama and was the recipient of the Butkus Award in 1988.

He went on to play his entire 11-year NFL career with the Kansas City Chiefs, earning numerous accolades such as NFL Man of the Year, Defensive Rookie of the Year, and being named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.

Thomas was known for his impressive sack record, including the NFL record for most sacks in a single game at seven. He sadly passed away in 2000 at the young age of 33.

Derrick Thomas

Personal Information of Derrick Thomas

Age28 years old
Birth PlaceMiami, FL
Wife/Spouse (Name)Hannah
Net Worth$1 Million – $5 Million dollars



Early life

Derrick Thomas was born and grew up in Miami, Florida. He was brought up by his mother, Edith Morgan, as his father, an Air Force Captain and B-52 pilot, passed away during a mission in the Vietnam War.

From a very early age, Thomas had an interest in football, and he started playing the sport when he was just three years old. Thomas’ mother was supportive of his love for the game and encouraged him to pursue it.

He went to South Miami Senior High School, where he played football throughout his high school years. During his time at high school, Thomas became an exceptional football player and earned a reputation as a skilled linebacker.

He was offered and accepted a scholarship to play for the University of Alabama football team, which allowed him to continue to improve his game. Thomas’ early life was full of struggles but his love for football played a significant role in shaping his future career.

College career

Derrick Thomas was a renowned college football player who played for the University of Alabama. During his time at Alabama, he was part of a dominating defense line that included Cornelius Bennett and Keith McCants.

He helped the Crimson Tide set and break defensive records, particularly in the category of sacks in a single season. In recognition of his outstanding performance, Thomas received the Butkus Award in 1988.

That same year, he was named a consensus All-American, following the Crimson Tide’s 1988 season. He played an instrumental role in the team’s epic victory over Army in the 1988 Sun Bowl, which led to his recognition as a Sun Bowl Legend in 2000.

Thomas’ impact in college football was so huge that he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014. He also cemented his legacy as one of the best players in University of Alabama history by winning the Sington Soaring Spirit Award, named after legendary football player, Fred Sington.

Despite the overwhelming success in college football, Thomas would go on to have an even more impressive career in the NFL.

Professional career

Derrick Thomas was a professional American football player. He played for the Kansas City Chiefs in the National Football League (NFL). He was selected fourth overall in the first round of the 1989 NFL Draft.

Thomas’s career began in 1989 when he joined the Kansas City Chiefs. During his career, he earned nine Pro Bowl selections and three First-Team All-Pro selections. Thomas was well known for his skills as a pass rusher – he had a record of 126.5 sacks during his career.

He led the NFL in sacks in 1990 with 20. He was a dominant defensive player and was often double or triple-teamed by opposing teams.

Thomas was also known for his charitable work off the field. He founded the Derrick Thomas/Neil Smith Third and Long Foundation, which was set up to help disadvantaged children.

In 1997, Thomas suffered a serious injury in a car crash that left him paralyzed. He went on to become an advocate for spinal cord injury research. Thomas was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

Despite his untimely death in 2000, he remains a beloved figure in Kansas City and in the NFL.

NFL career statistics

Derrick Thomas was a professional American football player in the National Football League (NFL). He played as a linebacker for Kansas City Chiefs from 1989-1999. During his career, he played in 169 games and recorded 126.5 sacks, including an NFL record seven sacks in a single game.

He was selected for the Pro Bowl nine times and was awarded the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 1990. In addition to his success on the field, Thomas was heavily involved in charitable causes off the field.

He established the Derrick Thomas Third and Long Foundation, which aimed to help underprivileged children in the Kansas City area.

Tragically, Thomas’ career and life were cut short when he was involved in a car accident on January 23, 2000, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.

He died on February 8, 2000, as a result of a pulmonary embolism. Despite his shorter-than-expected career, Thomas was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

Net Worth

Derrick Thomas was a famous American football player who played for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL) from 1989 to 1999. He was considered one of the greatest pass rushers of all time and was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

According to various sources, Derrick Thomas had a net worth of $1.5 million or $5 million at the time of his death in 2000. He earned his wealth from his successful career as a football player and from his endorsements and charity work.

He was also known for his community involvement and humanitarian efforts, which earned him the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 1993.


Derrick Thomas was an NFL linebacker who died on February 8, 2000. He was driving his Chevrolet Suburban during a snowstorm when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed. Thomas was driving at a high speed of around 70 mph, and two of his passengers were thrown from the car.

One of them, Michael Tellis, was killed instantly. Thomas himself was left paralyzed from the chest down. While being transferred from his hospital bed to a wheelchair for therapy, Thomas suddenly felt unwell and collapsed.

He went into cardiorespiratory arrest and passed away due to a pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot that had developed in his legs and traveled to his lungs. Months later, Thomas’ family sued General Motors for $73 million in damages resulting from the accident.

However, in 2004 a jury ruled that the family wasn’t entitled to any money. Thomas’ death was a significant loss to the NFL community, and he was remembered as a talented and respected player. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009, and his jersey number, 58, was retired by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Thomas was also known for his philanthropic work, particularly in helping disadvantaged children.

What happened to Derrick Thomas?

  • Derrick Thomas was a football player
  • Played for Chiefs in 1999
  • Met with a car crash
  • Got paralyzed in the crash
  • Unable to walk
  • Had a pulmonary embolism
  • Died two weeks later
  • Was a great player
  • Inducted to the Hall of Fame posthumously
  • In both Pro and College Football Hall of Fame.

Who was with Derrick Thomas when he died?

Derrick Thomas, an NFL player, died on February 8, 2000, as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident. He was with two other passengers in the car, who survived the crash. One of them was Mike Tellis, a former Central Missouri State player, who was driving the SUV.

The other person in the car was reportedly a friend of Tellis. Thomas was airlifted to a hospital after the accident but died a few weeks later due to complications from his injuries. The accident was attributed to speeding and icy road conditions.

Did Al Davis pay for Derrick Thomas funeral?

  • Assistance from Al Davis for a fallen friend
  • Funeral expenses taken care of
  • A gesture of kindness from the Raiders owner
  • Helped the family of the late linebacker
  • A show of respect and admiration from Davis
  • Acknowledgment of Thomas’ legacy
  • Davis’ generosity remembered by many
  • Thomas’ passing mourned by football community
  • A tragic end for a legendary player
  • Davis’ contributions to the game and beyond.

Al Davis paid for Derrick Thomas’ funeral as a gesture of kindness and respect for the late linebacker. Thomas had been paralyzed and eventually succumbed to a blood clot in his lungs. Davis visited Thomas in the hospital before his passing and helped take care of the funeral expenses.

This act of generosity was remembered by many in the football community and showcased Davis’ admiration for Thomas’ legacy. Thomas’ passing was a tragic end for a legendary player, but Davis’ contributions to the game and beyond remain significant.

How many sacks did Derrick Thomas have in his career?

Derrrick Thomas was an American footballer who played as a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL). He had a fantastic career, which saw him end with 126.5 sacks, making him the fourth-highest in the NFL history at that time.

Throughout his 169-game career, Thomas was a great player who posed a significant threat to his opponents, recording multi-sack games 27 times. He had ten or more sacks in a season seven times, which is a great achievement in the NFL.

Thomas was a remarkable athlete who possessed an incredible skill set that allowed him to perform consistently throughout his career. The average number of sacks Thomas had per game was 0.749, which is impressive considering the quality of players in the game.

Noteworthy, it’s worth mentioning that Thomas earned his place in the NFL Hall of Fame due to his incredible contributions to the game of football. In conclusion, during his career, Derrick Thomas had 126.5 sacks, which kept him among the top players in NFL history at the time.

Who has the most sacks in a game?

The player with the most sacks in a single NFL game is Derrick Thomas. He achieved the impressive feat in 1990 playing for the Kansas City Chiefs. Thomas recorded a total of 8 sacks during that game, breaking the previous record of 6 that was established by Fred Dean of the San Francisco 49ers in 1983.

Thomas was a dominant force on the field throughout his career, earning several accolades and setting multiple records. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009, recognized as one of the greatest players in NFL history.

Thomas tragically passed away in 2000, just a few years after retiring from football. Despite his untimely death, his legacy continues to live on through his impressive accomplishments on the field.

The record that Thomas set back in 1990 still stands to this day, a testament to his incredible skill and determination as a player.

The feat of recording 8 sacks in a single game is one that few players have come close to matching, cementing Thomas’ place in NFL history as one of the game’s all-time greats.

Who wore 58 for the Chiefs?

The Kansas City Chiefs’ No. 58 jersey was last worn by linebacker Derrick Thomas, who is considered one of the team’s all-time greats. Thomas spent his entire 11-year career with the Chiefs, earning nine Pro Bowl nods and a spot in the Hall of Fame.

He tragically passed away in 2000 after a car accident, but his legacy lives on in Kansas City. Since then, no player has worn the No. 58 jersey for the Chiefs as a way to honor Thomas and his impact on the franchise.

How much money did Derrick Thomas make?

Derrick Thomas had a successful career with the Kansas City Chiefs, earning a substantial amount of money in both salary and endorsements. Over the span of 11 years, his estimated earnings totaled around 34 million dollars.

However, despite his financial success, Thomas left behind an estate that was considered to be in poor financial health. In fact, one attorney described it as “borderline solvent,” indicating that there were significant debts and financial obligations that were left unpaid.

One of the most notable aspects of Thomas’s estate was the fact that he did not leave behind a will. As a result, his estate was left in a state of legal limbo, which required a court-ordered, public estate sale to settle his financial affairs.

This sale likely caused his family and loved ones a great deal of stress and discomfort, as it involved the public disclosure of many aspects of his personal and financial life. Ultimately, Derrick Thomas’s legacy was not just one of football success, but also of financial challenges and the importance of proper estate planning.

Who died on the Chiefs?

Otis Taylor, a former professional football player, passed away at the age of 80. He was known for his remarkable career as a wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs. Taylor helped the team to achieve their victory in Super Bowl IV against the Minnesota Vikings by making a touchdown catch that sealed the win.

Although the announcement of his death was made by the team, no details were provided regarding the location or the reason behind his passing. His death is a huge loss for the Chiefs and the football community as a whole.

Taylor’s contribution to the sport, as well as his remarkable talent, will always be remembered by his fans and fellow players. Nonetheless, his passing leaves a void in the hearts of those who loved him and a deep loss for the entire football world.

Rest in peace Otis Taylor, an icon in the world of football.

Who did Derrick Thomas sack the most?

Derrick Thomas, a former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, was a sack machine during his NFL career. He is known for sacking countless quarterbacks, but he never sacked one more than he did Dave Kreig on November 11, 1990.

It was on this day that Thomas set an NFL record by sacking Kreig a whopping seven times in a single game. Aside from that particularly noteworthy game, Thomas was a force to be reckoned with on the field.

Over the course of his 11-year career, he recorded 126.5 sacks, which is the largest total in Kansas City Chiefs’ history. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler, named First-Team All-Pro four times, and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

Thomas was a standout player who consistently put fear into opposing quarterbacks. He possessed quickness, strength, and agility that helped him get past blockers and take down QBs. Although he has passed away, his legacy lives on, and his record of seven sacks in a game still stands today.

To Recap

Derrick Thomas was a celebrated linebacker who played for the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL for a decade. He was born in Miami, Florida in 1967 and died at the young age of 33 in his hometown. Even though he played for the Chiefs for only ten years, he managed to establish several records and earn numerous accolades.

Thomas was named NFL Man of the Year in 1993 and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1989, among other honors. He was also a generous philanthropist and community activist. Additionally, he is inducted into both the Pro Football and College Football Halls of Fame.

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John Rizzo

I am a professional rugby player in the Washington DC-Baltimore area. I have been playing rugby for over 10 years and have had the opportunity to play in many different countries. I am also a coach for both youth and adult rugby teams. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. I am currently working on my MPA from American University and plan to pursue this career path after graduating next year. LinkedIn

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