Former NFL Player and Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy Dies at 48

Cortez Kennedy, former Seattle Seahawks great and Hall of Fame defensive tackle, was found dead Tuesday (May 23) in Orlando, Florida. He was 48.

As USA Today reports, a spokesperson for the Orlando Police stated that although there was nothing suspicious about Kennedy’s death, the department will conduct an investigation. It was confirmed that Kennedy was alone at the time of his death.

The Arkansas native spent most of his 11-year career playing with the Seattle Seahawks, after being drafted from Miami back in 1990. Throughout his career, Kennedy received many honors, including his membership of the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 1990’s, the 2012 induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and becoming the 1992 Defensive Player of the Year. Following his time in college, Kennedy was named All-American at the University of Miami and inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame and the Miami Hurricanes’ Ring of Honor.

During his NFL career, Kennedy was credited with 448 tackles, five fumble recoveries, six forced fumbles, and three interceptions. Finishing his career with 58 sacks and eight visits to the Pro Bowls, the defensive tackle retired in 2000 and was received into to the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor.

President and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, David Baker, shared a statement about Kennedy’s untimely death.

“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.”

Many friends, fans, and former teammates of Kennedy also expressed their thoughts on social media about the death of the beloved football icon, including the Seattle Seahawks.

Photo Credit: Rod Mar/Seattle Seahawks