Former Browns GM, Broncos executive Tom Heckert dies

Heckert served as Browns GM from 2010-2012

Daryl Ruiter
August 06, 2018 - 1:01 pm
File: Browns President Mike Holmgren, left, new head coach Pat Shurmur, middle, and General Manager Tom Heckert, right, speak together after a news conference where Shurmur was presented to the media at the Browns' training facility in Berea, Ohio.

(Photo by Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal/MCT/Sipa USA)

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Former Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert has passed away the Denver Broncos announced Monday morning.

Heckert was 51.

The Browns released a statement Monday.

“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.”   

After being fired by current Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam at the end of the 2012 season, Heckert joined the Broncos where he served as director of pro personnel from 2013-2016 and a senior personnel advisor in 2017.

“Tom was an integral part of our organization and we’re all incredibly saddened today," Broncos president of football operations and general manager John Elway said. "With his many years of experience and time as a GM, Tom was a tremendous resource and a key member of our team. He was a very good evaluator—He had an eye for talent, and we always trusted his voice. It’s easy to see why Tom was widely respected and had so many great relationships across the league. I’ll always be grateful for how he helped me transition into this position. My prayers go out to Tom’s family, friends and everyone he worked with during his career.”

Heckert, who was diagnosed in recent years with amyloidosis, stepped away from the Broncos following the 2017 season to focus on his health.

Heckert was hired as Browns general manager by former team president Mike Holmgren in 2010.

Former Browns players offered their condolances on Twitter Monday.

Heckert’s first draft with the Browns netted Pro Bowlers Joe Haden and TJ Ward in the first 2 rounds of the 2010 draft. He also drafted Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron as well as defensive linemen Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard, however his final draft in 2012 saw first rounders Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden gone within 2 years.

Following the 2012 season, Heckert and head coach Pat Shurmur were fired by incoming owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam. Holmgren stepped aside in November, 2012.