NFL community reacts, offers condolences after death of Cortez Kennedy
NFL players and coaches offered condolences following Tuesday's news that Hall of Fame defensive lineman Cortez Kennedy had died at the age of 48.
Kennedy played his entire 11-year career on the Seattle Seahawks, and current Seahawks coach Pete Carroll tweeted a photo of a dimmed CenturyLink Field with Kennedy's No. 96 jersey illuminated.
Several other current and former Seahawks offered condolences on Twitter, including quarterback Russell Wilson, tight end Jimmy Graham and Hall of Fame offensive tackle Walter Jones, who played with Kennedy in Seattle in the late 1990s.
A terrible day, RIP to a close friend and great mentor Cortez Kennedy. My heart goes out to his family and friends.— Jimmy Graham (@TheJimmyGraham) May 23, 2017
Vince Wilfork described Kennedy as a "mentor and close friend."
This is one of my saddest days in my life to hear this news about Cortez Kennedy. He was my mentor and close friend and today is a struggle— Vince Wilfork (@wilfork75) May 23, 2017
NBA player Jamal Crawford, who grew up in Seattle, also paid tribute to Kennedy.
RIP to the legend Cortez Kennedy.. Different sport, but I remember growing up he was one of the main athletes I heard about in the city..— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) May 23, 2017
The Seahawks issued a statement following Kennedy's death.
"Kennedy has been a pillar of the Seahawks franchise since joining the team as a rookie in 1990," the team said in the 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."