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Current and former Seahawks, NFL community pay tribute to Cortez Kennedy

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Tributes from all across the National Football League continue to pour out following the passing of former Seahawks star Cortez Kennedy, who passed away on Tuesday at just 48 years of age. Kennedy’s Hall of Fame credentials include eight Pro Bowls, five All-Pro honors, being selected to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team, and winning Defensive Player of the Year during Seattle’s 2-14 campaign in 1992. Kennedy worked as a consultant for the New Orleans Saints after ending his playing days.

Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor wrote this short statement on his Instagram page,

“Wow I can't believe Cortez is gone at 48. I can say that he was one of the nicest professional men I've met. He used to always call me his "Hero". The stories we talked about from when he used to play were eye opening. Winning a ring and seeing how much that meant to him was cool coming from a legend, a Hall Of Famer. My condolences go out to the family and anyone else close to Cortez. I'm going to miss him around the practice facility this season.... R.I.P.”

The Seattle Times article on Kennedy’s death includes quotes from Mike Holmgren, Eugene Robinson, Chad Brown, Tom Flores, and Dave Wyman. Here are the lines from coaches Flores and Holmgren, as well as Robinson.

Tom Flores:

“He was great in the locker room. His teammates liked him. The coaches liked him. The public liked him. He just had great compassion for everybody around him and a great respect for the game and the people who surrounded him that made it all possible. He was very successful in life, too, because he didn’t throw his money away.”

Mike Holmgren:

“He was a great football player and a tough guy but he would laugh and he had a great sense of humor,” said former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, who coached Kennedy during his final two years in Seattle in 1999 and 2000. “I so enjoyed him. This is a hard one for me. I think he was one of the good guys and I don’t think there is anything easy about this when it happens so suddenly.’’

Former Seahawks safety Eugene Robinson:

“I’m stunned,” said former standout Seattle safety Eugene Robinson, who played with Kennedy with the Seahawks from 1990-95, in a phone interview with the Times. “Besides being an incredible player he was a very good friend. Tez is incredibly compassionate, thinks about others. He’s always been that way. He values others more highly than himself and he just loved life. Loved people, loved life. He loved being a football player. He just liked all that came with it — the fun, the times you get together, all that stuff. And then just the grueling lock-it-up with your brother and play. … he was always just a really, really good friend.”

Plenty of current and ex-Seahawks expressed their condolences on social media, along with a host of famed NFL figures such as John Lynch, John Elway, Jimmy Johnson, and Saints head coach Sean Payton. Here’s a compilation of those tweets.