May 23, 2017 / 7:58 PM / 2 years ago

NFL Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy dies at 48

FILE PHOTO: Former Seattle Seahawk Cortez Kennedy speaks during his acceptance into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, U.S., on August 4, 2012. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk/File Photo

(Reuters) - Former Seattle Seahawks player and National Football League Hall of Fame member Cortez Kennedy, 48, died in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday, police said.

Kennedy was found dead on Tuesday morning, according to a statement from the Orlando Police Department. Police spokeswoman Wanda Miglio would not confirm the circumstances of his death, nor specifically where in the city his body was found.

She added that Kennedy died alone, and police are investigating his death although nothing suspicious has been discovered so far.

The Seattle Seahawks drafted Kennedy in 1990, and he quickly became integral to the team, starting at right defensive tackle and earning a Pro Bowl spot in his second year with the team, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Kennedy also gained a reputation for rarely missing games, at one point playing in 116 consecutive games, according to the NFL. The league named him Defensive Player of the Year in 1992.

He retired in 2000 after playing with the Seahawks for 11 seasons and was selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

In a statement on Twitter, the Seahawks described Kennedy as “the heart and soul of the Seahawks through the 1990s” and “a loyal son, father, teammate and friend to many.”

After retiring, Kennedy lived frugally, according to a 2015 New York Times profile, returning to Arkansas to raise his daughter before moving to an upscale Orlando golf community while working as an adviser to the New Orleans Saints.

Reporting by Tom James; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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