Police: Ex-Seahawk Cortez Kennedy hospitalized for swollen legs days before death

FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2000, file photo, Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy (96) celebrates Seattle's 27-24 victory over the Oakland Raiders in an NFL football game in Seattle. (AP Photo/Cheryl Hatch, File)

ORLANDO, Fla. - Former Seattle Seahawks star Cortez Kennedy was admitted to the hospital for swelling in the legs just days before he was found dead at his Orlando residence, according to a police report obtained by KOMO News.

Kennedy, one of the best defensive linemen of his generation and a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, also told a close friend that he was feeling dizzy the afternoon before his death on May 23 at the age of 48.

But police investigators said there was nothing suspicious about his death.

According to the Orlando police report, Kennedy's close friend received a call from him at about 4:50 p.m. on May 22. In the call, Kennedy told his friend that he was "feeling dizzy," and he asked her to check on him the next morning when she got off from work.

The next morning, when the friend arrived at Kennedy's residence, she found him on the bedroom floor.

She ran back outside and tried to find someone to help her perform lifesaving rescue, but could not, so she ran back in the house and did compressions.

Officers and medics arrived at the scene soon after, and Kennedy was pronounced dead. Kennedy's friend told them police that Kennedy had recently been in the hospital for swelling in the legs.

Investigators later found paperwork in Kennedy's home showing that he had been admitted to the hospital on May 10 and was discharged five days later on May 15.

A star who spent his entire 11-year NFL career in relative obscurity playing in Seattle, Kennedy became the second Seahawks player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

"Cortez Kennedy has been a pillar of the Seahawks franchise since joining the team as a rookie in 1990," the Seahawks said in a statement at the time of his death. "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. ... We are proud to have been represented by such a special person."

Kennedy was an eight-time Pro Bowler and won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 1992. He was the No. 3 overall pick in the 1990 draft out of Miami and Seattle smartly never let him leave. He brought notoriety to an otherwise dreadful period in Seahawks history.

Even though he last played for the Seahawks in 2000, he remained a significant part of the organization. He was a mainstay around the team during training camp and would occasionally roll through the locker room during the regular season grabbing a few minutes with anyone - players, coaches, media - up for a chat.

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