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Former Giants Pro Bowl TE Has Passed Away

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

 

Longtime New York Giants fans of a certain age will remember Aaron Thomas, who was a tight end for the team throughout much of the 1960s.

On Friday, it was announced that he had passed away at the age of 86 due to a lengthy illness, per Around The NFL.

Aaron Thomas, Pro Bowl tight end with Giants, dies at age 86 pic.twitter.com/12lJL21dVy

— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) May 3, 2024

After spending a good chunk of his childhood in Northern California, Thomas played his college football at Oregon State University before moving upward to the NFL.

He started his pro career with the San Francisco 49ers, who took him in the fourth round of the 1961 draft, but the following season, he was traded to the Giants.

There, he became a fixture of a team that was led by aging Hall-of-Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle.

In the early decades of the NFL, the Giants were one of the league’s more dominant teams, and they had four league championships by the time Thomas had arrived ever since they began play in 1925.

Thomas made it to the NFL Championship Game in his first two seasons in New York, only to lose to the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, respectively.

Even as the team’s fortunes declined in the mid-1960s, Thomas’ production improved.

He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1964 with 624 yards and six touchdowns, and when he retired in 1970, he had accumulated 262 catches, 4,554 yards, and 37 touchdowns for his career.

Back in those days, tight ends weren’t used as major offensive threats in a team’s passing game, but Thomas was a prelude to the star tight ends of the modern NFL.

“He’s almost like the early version of Travis Kelce,” his son, Robb Thomas, who played a decade in the league, told the team’s website. “He was a tight end and flanker, but he really ran good routes and had a good feel about getting into open space.”

The post Former Giants Pro Bowl TE Has Passed Away appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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