Skip to main content

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Linebacker Has Died At 33

A Tampa Bay Buccaneers helmet sitting on the sideline.

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 02: A '21' sticker honoring the late Washington Redskins player Sean Taylor is seen on the helmets of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before playing the New Orleans Saints on December 2, 2007 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The NFL world received heartbreaking news on Monday night. Former linebacker Geno Hayes passed away at his parents' home in Florida due to a liver disease. He was only 33 years old.

Hayes was a sixth-round pick out of Florida State. He spent four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before having brief stints with the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Over the course of his NFL career, Hayes had 401 combined tackles, 10 sacks, six forced fumbles, six interceptions and two defensive touchdowns.

ESPN's Jenna Laine reported a few days ago that Hayes was diagnosed with a chronic liver disease in 2019 and was placed on a waiting list for a liver transplant. His health was deteriorating over the past few weeks, which is why he entered hospice care.

After the news was confirmed that Hayes passed away, Laine posted a touching tribute for the former Buccaneers linebacker on social media. "Geno, you left this world just a short time ago, and already the loss feels so overwhelming and immeasurable," Laine wrote. "It was an honor to know you, to cover you, to see your dreams come true and to watch your family grow."

Florida State head coach Mike Norvell also released a statement on Hayes.

"Thoughts and prayer for the family and friends of Geno Hayes. He lived his life as a tremendous Seminole who impacted so many throughout his journey on and off the field. His legacy will live on."

It's clear that Hayes impacted a ton of people both at the collegiate and professional level.

Our thoughts are with the Hayes family during this time.