NFL Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy Dead at 48

Cortez Kennedy

NFL Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy Dead at 48

The cause of the former defensive tackle's death is currently unknown.

Published May 23, 2017

Sad news for the NFL community.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy died in Orlando today, the Orlando Police Department confirmed with NFL.com. He was 48. While the cause of his death is currently unclear, the Orlando PD told TMZ Sports that "there is nothing suspicious" about Kennedy's passing as of press time.

After being selected with the third overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft, the former defensive tackle played all of his 11 seasons (1990-2000) with the Seattle Seahawks, being named to the Pro Bowl eight times and earning five All-Pro selections.

As one of the first 300-pound defenders, Kennedy got to quarterbacks early and often, piling up 58 sacks, including 14 during his 1992 season, in which he was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year.

As NFL.com points out, Kennedy was also incredibly durable, having appeared in 167 of a possible 176 games, including 116 straight games at one point. Kennedy being named to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1990s foreshadowed his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

“The entire Hall of Fame family is stunned and deeply saddened to learn the news of Cortez Kennedy’s passing," Pro Football Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker said in a statement emailed to BET.com. "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."

Upon learning of Kennedy's passing, NFL Films posted this remembrance video looking back on his incredible career.

Various members of the Seahawks and NFL community — and well beyond — also posted the following condolences and reactions on Instagram and Twitter.

RIP to a true legend HALL OF FAMER!!! Cortez Kennedy #cortezkennedy #weallwegot

A post shared by Ricardo Lockette (@ricardolockette) on

Condolences to his family and friends. Prayers up.

BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.

Written by Mark Lelinwalla

(Photo: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

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