Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Florida State linebacker Geno Hayes has died after being diagnosed with liver disease two years ago and awaiting a liver transplant. He was 33.”We are deeply saddened to learn of Geno Hayes’ passing,” the Bucs said in a statement Tuesday. “During his time with the Buccaneers, Geno was a beloved teammate and often the first player to volunteer his time to our efforts in the community. He frequently visited schools and had a remarkable ability to connect with children. Losing him at such a young age is heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with his family.”Rest in peace, Geno 🙏 pic.twitter.com/RxSKQX8mNZ— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) April 27, 2021 Hayes, who also played for the Bears and Jaguars during his NFL career, had been placed into hospice care at his parents’ home in Valosta, Georgia earlier this month.Despite being hospitalized over 20 times in the last year, Hayes was optimistic about getting a new liver. He told ESPN he had been placed on a waiting list at the Mayo Clinic and Northwestern Medicine in December.Hayes, whose health began deteriorating rapidly last month, told ESPN that he believes over-the-counter pain medicines he took while playing — Tylenol, Advil and Aleve — and a family history, caused his liver to fail. He told ESPN he took the non-prescription medications because he believed they were safer than shots of Toradol.For most of the two years he was suffering, he didn’t disclose his condition to many people outside of his family and close circle of friends.”I wanted more to know but didn’t want to be a burden,” said Hayes, who instead opted to go to therapy to cope with his condition. Towards the end of his life, he began to open up, in hopes it could help others.”I think maybe just to inspire a person going through something similar [who] needs that extra motivation,” Hayes told ESPN. “It may inspire someone to never give up.”Hayes played for the Bucs from 2008 to 2011, the Bears in 2012 and Jaguars from 2013 to 2014.”My prayers and thoughts are with Geno Hayes’ family and loved ones after his untimely passing,” said a statement from New York Jets coach Robert Saleh, who coached Hayes while with the Jaguars as an assistant. “Having the opportunity to spent time with him, I saw Geno’s passion and love for not only football but for life itself. He was an amazing person who left a mark on everyone who had the pleasure of connecting with him.”Hayes leaves behind his wife Shevelle and children Gemarii, 13, and Skyler 8.