Shocking and sad news on Tuesday afternoon out of Orlando, where former Canes and Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kenndedy died at age 48. There aren’t currently many details, other than the Orlando Police Department confirming Kennedy’s death, but saying it’s not suspicious.
Kennedy apparently died alone according to the Orlando Sentinel and it’s being classified as an “unattended passing investigation.”
The former eight time Pro Bowler and five time All Pro tackle with Seattle, got his start terrorizing opponents for Jimmy Johnson’s Hurricanes of the late 80s. Kennedy was an All-American selection on the 1989 Miami National Title team and eventually was taken third by the Seahawks in the 1990 draft.
Johnson reacted on social media to the sudden news:
Shocked at Cortez Kennedy passing..1 of the most talented players I ever recruited or coached…a fun loving person a sad day..
— Jimmy Johnson (@JimmyJohnson) May 23, 2017
One of the NFL quarterbacks that Kennedy made life miserable for on a regular basis, was fellow Hall of Famer, John Elway. Kennedy would face the Broncos twice every year in the old AFC West alignment. Elway also took to Twitter Tuesday afternoon:
Really sad to lose a guy like Cortez Kennedy. A great personality, a great player & I enjoyed competing against him. Prayers to his family.
— John Elway (@johnelway) May 23, 2017
Kennedy had 58 career NFL sacks, an amazing number for a defensive tackle, who was constantly double and triple teamed. This included his 12 sack 1992 season, where he was named NFL Defensive Player of the year.
Kennedy was inducted into the Miami Ring of Honor in 2008. One of his teammates at the U, Heisman Winner Gino Torretta, also reacted for his saddened Miami teammates:
RIP. One of the best teammates you could ever have! https://t.co/vjugPF57lr
— Gino Torretta (@GinoTorretta) May 23, 2017
Kennedy was immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame four years later.