Hall of Fame Broncos RB Floyd Little dies at 78

2:28 PM ET

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Pro Football Hall of Famer Floyd Little, known as “The Franchise” in his career with the Denver Broncos, died on New Year’s Day. He was 78.

Little had been diagnosed with cancer, which became public this past May, and was moved to hospice care in November.

“Floyd Little was a true hero of the game. He was a man of great integrity, passion and courage,” Pro Football Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker said in a statement. “His contributions off the field were even greater than his amazing accomplishments he did on it. Floyd’s smile, heart and character epitomized what it meant to have a Hall of Fame life.

Little’s family said in a statement: “The family extends their gratitude to all who have supported Floyd Little and his family during this time with prayers, calls and your heartfelt expressions of love.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said those around Little were proud to have known him.

“I was so fortunate to know Floyd and witnessed first-hand the impact he had on others,” Goodell said in a statement. “Whenever he represented the Broncos at the annual NFL Draft, others immediately sought to

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