Former Eagles, Browns GM Heckert dies

Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert Jr., left, 2010 first-round draft pick Joe Haden from Florida, center, and president Mike Holmgren pose for pictures following a press conference.Jason Miller-USA TODAY Sports

Former Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert died on Sunday at the age of 51, the Denver Broncos announced Monday.

Heckert most recently served as an executive with the Broncos from 2013-17. He stepped away from the team after being diagnosed with amyloidosis, which is a protein disorder of the blood.

Heckert served as the general manager of the Eagles (2006-09) and Browns (2010-12) before joining the Broncos in 2013. He worked as the Broncos' director of pro personnel from 2013-16 before accepting a position as the team's senior personnel advisor in 2017.

"Tom was an integral part of our organization and we're all incredibly saddened today," Broncos general manager John Elway said in a statement. "With his many years of experience and time as a G.M., 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 he 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."

Broncos director of player personnel Matt Russell, who also worked with Heckert with the Eagles, offered the following statement:

"Tom hired me in Philadelphia and was a beloved friend for many years. The biggest thing with Tom was his loyalty, how he cared about his friends and how good he was at his job. Tom was one of the best because he combined exceptional player evaluation skills with his incredible network of connections around the NFL. Those relationships he formed are a testament to how well he treated everyone. Tom was a loyal friend and my heart goes out to his family."

Heckert also worked with the Miami Dolphins (1991-2000) during his 27-year career in the NFL. He served as a pro and college scout from 1991-98 before being promoted to assistant director of pro personnel/college scout in 1999 and director of pro personnel in 2000.