The NFL world was rocked on Tuesday when Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy passed away at the age of 48.
Former teammates, rivals, and many others took to social media to show just how much the 2012 Hall of Fame inductee meant to them and the game they all love.
Kennedy played his entire career with the Seattle Seahawks. They tweeted out a heartfelt tribute to one of the franchise’s most iconic players, saying that they “are proud to have been represented by such a special person.”
Our statement on the passing of Cortez Kennedy. pic.twitter.com/yVtBfMdyp5
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) May 23, 2017
The Seahawks selected Kennedy third overall in the 1990 NFL Draft. Prior to his time in Seattle, Kennedy was a standout at the University of Miami, where he was named an All American in 1989 and helped win National Championships in 1987 and 1989.
The U also expressed its condolences.
Cortez Kennedy was an incredible athlete but he was an even better man.
He will be missed greatly. pic.twitter.com/eTAaTVSJsa
— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) May 23, 2017
Jimmy Johnson recruited Kennedy to Miami and coached him before leaving to become the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. He expressed his sadness on Twitter as well.
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
Of course, it wasn’t just old teams and teammates. For years, the Denver Broncos of John Elway and Shannon Sharpe battled Kennedy’s Seahawks in the AFC West. Both men paid tribute to their fellow Hall of Famer.
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
Can't believe that Cortez Kennedy has passed. We're the same age, same daft (1990) and played in same division for 10 yrs. RIP TEZ
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) May 23, 2017
Other NFL luminaries to chime in include both Kevin Mawae and Warren Moon, who played with and against Kennedy in the NFL.
Great sadness on the passing of my friend #CortezKennedy. A real gentle giant, great football player, better person! Loved by everyone. RIP!
— Warren Moon (@WMoon1) May 23, 2017
Kennedy’s reach extended beyond his own era of players. Fellow Miami alum Reggie Wayne, as well as current Seahawks Kam Chancellor and Cassius Marsh all shared their grief.
R.I.P Cortez Kennedy… Gone way too early. Thanks for always sharing knowledge to a young buck like me… #TheU
— Reggie Wayne (@ReggieWayne_17) May 23, 2017
I'm in shock! The great Cortez was just walking through the favility the other day it feels like! RIP to one of the greatest to ever do it🙏🏽
— Cassius Marsh (@KingCash_7191) May 23, 2017
Other former Seahawks, including Brock Huard, Matt Hasselbeck, and Brian Bosworth all expressed their condolences.
Gentle Giant who embraced & loved his teammates, even undeserving rookies. Love you Tez
— Brock Huard (@BrockHuard) May 23, 2017
Crushed to hear this.
Despite being one of the best players of all time, Tez's humility will be what I think of first. https://t.co/PCerQuLHJg
— Matt Hasselbeck (@Hasselbeck) May 23, 2017
— Brian Bosworth (@GotBoz44) May 23, 2017
Last but certainly not least, the NFL paid tribute by saying that Kennedy’s “legacy will live on forever” and shared a part of his Hall of Fame speech.