Former NFL Player Cortez Kennedy Found Dead At 48

Another former member of the NFL has died young. Cortez Kennedy, onetime defensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks, was found dead in Orlando Tuesday (May 23), reports ESPN. He was 48.

Orlando Police found no suspicious evidence at the scene, according to spokeswoman Wanda Miglio. though an investigation is ongoing. Kennedy was alone when he died.

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“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 and CEO David Baker said in a statement according to USA Today. “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,” Baker added. “He epitomized the many great values this game teaches which serves as inspiration to millions of fans.”

The Arkansas native scored a scholarship to the University of Miami, where he was named an All-American in the late ’80s. He went on to play nearly a dozen seasons in the NFL, and was inducted into the league’s Hall of Fame in 2012, becoming the second Seahawks player to receive the honor.

“Cortez Kennedy has been a pillar of the Seahawks franchise since joining the team as a rookie in 1990,” the Seahawks said in a statement. “Tez was the heart and soul of the Seahawks through the 1990s and endeared himself to 12s all across the Pacific Northwest as a player who played with a selfless and relentless approach to the game.

“But more than his on-field accomplishments, he was a loyal son, father, teammate and friend to many, possessing a larger-than-life personality and an infectious laugh,” the statement continues. “We extend our warmest thoughts and prayers to his parents, Ruby and Joe Harris, daughter Courtney, and entire family on the unfortunate loss of a life-long Seahawk. We are proud to have been represented by such a special person.”

Kennedy is one of several former pro-footballers to die before age 50, including Rashaan Salaam, a 42-year-old ex-Chicago Bears player discovered at a park in Colorado last December. Salaam’s death was ruled a suicide.

See Twitter reactions to Kennedy’s sudden death below.

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Tags: NFL