Cortez Kennedy Dies; NFL Hall of Famer Was 48

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Cortez Kennedy, the former NFL defensive lineman who spent ten years with the Seattle Seahawks, has passed away at the age of 48.

His cause of death remains unknown.

Kennedy passed away in Orlando, and officials say they're currently investigating the matter.

Cortez Kennedy Image

A spokesperson for the Orlando Police Department says there's no reason to suspect foul play, and Kennedy's death appears to have resulted from natural causes.

Drafted third overall in the 1990 draft, Kennedy spent the entirety of his stellar career with the Seahawks.

During his decade in the league, Kennedy was selected for the Pro Bowl an impressive eight times.

In 1992, he recorded 14 sacks and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press.

Kennedy sat out the 2001 season due to injury and announced his retirement from football in 2002.

Cortez Kennedy Photo

He received numerous offers from other teams, but stated that he wished to finish his career with the team that had given him his start.

Kennedy was voted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2012, and with a look at his career stats, it's not hard to see why:

In 167 games with Seattle, he recorded 668 tackles, 58 sacks, and 3 interceptions.

In the minutes after news of Kennedy's death went public, Kennedy instantly became a trending topic on social media, with some of the biggest names to ever play the game playing tribute:

"Really sad to lose a guy like Cortez Kennedy," tweeted John Elway.

Cortez Kennedy Hall of Fame Induction

"A great personality, a great player & I enjoyed competing against him. Prayers to his family."

"R.I.P Cortez Kennedy... Gone way too early. Thanks for always sharing knowledge to a young buck like me," wrote fellow University of Miami alum Reggie Wayne.

While some of the online tributes are from teammates and some from opponents, there's little variation in the message:

Cortez Kennedy was one of a kind on the field and off, and his tremendous talent was matched only by his enormous heart.

Our thoughts go out to Kennedy's family during this difficult time.

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