Yahoo! Sports NFL writer, Detroit native Terez Paylor dies at 37

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Terez Paylor, a Detroit native and Yahoo! Sports columnist who was among the top pro football reporters in the country as well as a Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, died Tuesday. He was 37.

Yahoo! Sports announced his death through a statement from fiancee Ebony Reed, a former Detroit News editor. A cause of death was not given.

Football writer Terez Paylor, a Detroit native, died Tuesday, Feb. 9. He was 37.

"While we are shocked and saddened by Terez Paylor's sudden passing, we also celebrate his extraordinary life that touched so many," the statement read. "Terez was an exceptional journalist whose passion for football made him a respected voice. His legacy will leave an enduring impact on sports journalism, the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs, and their fans.

"More important, Terez was a devoted son, grandson, brother, an adoring fiance, and a wonderful friend to so many. To know him was to love him.

"He will be dearly missed."

Paylor graduated from U-D Jesuit in 2002, and attended Howard University. After graduating with a degree in journalism, he joined The Kansas City Star in 2006, as a high-school sports reporter, but eventually he became the Chiefs beat writer, starting in 2013. He also covered Major League Soccer and the University of Missouri for the paper, but it was pro football where he really made his mark.

According to the Star's obituary Tuesday, Paylor was known for his scoops, like the trade of quarterback Alex Smith to Washington, as well as breaking down game film.

In 2018, he left the Star to join Yahoo! Sports, for whom he was a senior NFL reporter.

Among Paylor's final assignments was the build-up, aftermath and game coverage of Sunday night's Super Bowl, featuring the Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He called the matchup like 2013 LeBron James vs. 1998 Michael Jordan. He broke down film in real time on Twitter during the Super Bowl. Paylor's final radio show, based in Kansas City, was Monday night, recapping the Super Bowl.

He also hosted a Yahoo! NFL podcast with fellow Michigan native Charles Robinson. On a recent episode, they broke down the Lions trade of Matthew Stafford.

Paylor recently was part of the deliberations and voting for the eight-member 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, announced Saturday and headlined by Peyton Manning, former Lions receiver Calvin Johnson and Michigan football legend Charles Woodson.

Paylor's death is the latest loss for sports journalism, after ESPN baseball writer Pedro Gomez died Sunday, also unexpectedly, at 58. writer Chris Wesseling died Friday of cancer at 46.

Jeff Rosen, the sports editor of the Kansas City star, said on Twitter the staff is "beyond heartbroken to lose Terez," who covered the Chiefs for his job, but always remained a diehard fan of his hometown Lions.

"Forever in our hearts," Rosen said. "One of a kind champion."

ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter called Paylor's death a "devastating loss."

Twitter: @tonypaul1984