Cortez Kennedy, former Seahawks great and Pro Football Hall of Famer, dies at 48 – CBSSports.com

Pro Football Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy, a star defensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks for 11 seasons, died at his home in Orlando, Florida, at the age of 48. The Orlando Police Department confirmed Kennedy’s death after TMZ Sports first reported the news. The cause of death is unknown, and police said Kennedy died alone. 

Kennedy, the third overall pick of the Seahawks in the 1990 NFL Draft, racked up six Pro Bowl nods and was a first-team All-Pro in three straight seasons, from 1992-94, in his stellar 11-year career. He started 153 out of 167 games and was named Defensive Player of the Year after the 1992 season.

Kennedy shined for middling Seahawks teams, however, playing in just one playoff game, following the 1999 season, after the arrival of Mike Holmgren. The Super Bowl-winning former Packers coach replaced Dennis Erickson, who had also coached Kennedy at the University of Miami. Kennedy finished his NFL career with 58 sacks and 568 tackles in 167 games. He was also an All-America honoree at Miami and was on the Hurricanes’ 1989 national championship team, led by Erickson.

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Cortez Kennedy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.
Getty Images

David Baker, the president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said Kennedy was a Hall of Famer on the field and off it, in a prepared statement. 

“The entire Hall of Fame family is stunned and deeply saddened to learn the news of Cortez Kennedy’s passing. On behalf of the Hall of Fame Board of Trustees, Cortez’s fellow Hall of Famers, and our staff, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Cortez will be remembered not only for all his great achievements on the football field but how he handled himself off the field. He epitomized the many great values this game teaches which serves as inspiration to millions of fans.

Although he left this earth far too soon, the Hall of Fame pledges to keep his legacy alive forever in Canton.”

NFL players, coaches and writers paid tribute to Kennedy on Twitter.

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