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Cortez Kennedy (1968 - 2017)

Getty Images / Photo by Jason Miller

Cortez Kennedy (1968 - 2017)

Cortez Kennedy, an NFL Hall of Fame defensive tackle who played for the Seattle Seahawks, has died at the age of 48, according to multiple news sources.

His death May 23, 2017, was announced by the Orlando, Florida, Police Department. Orlando police confirmed to ESPN that they are investigating Kennedy's death, but they also said "there is nothing suspicious to report" at this time.

Kennedy played college football at the University of Miami. An All-American, he played on the Hurricanes’ 1989 national championship team. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks with the third overall pick in the 1990 NFL draft.


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Kennedy was a dominating defensive player who was a strong run stopper and could also get to the quarterback. He was selected to the All-Pro team eight times and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1992. Kennedy played his entire 11-year career with the Seahawks, retiring after the 2000 season.

Kennedy was voted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2012. During the last several years, he was an adviser for the New Orleans Saints.

"Cortez will be remembered not only for all his great achievements on the football field but how he handled himself off the field," Pro Football Hall of Fame CEO David Baker said in a statement. "He epitomized the many great values this game teaches which serves as inspiration to millions of fans."

Current NFL analyst Jimmy Johnson, who coached Kennedy at the University of Miami said on Twitter: