Cortez Kennedy a Finalist for the 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame

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January 2, 2012

By Bill Boehlke

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CortezKennedy_1108Class of 2012 – Finalist
Defensive Tackle, 6-3, 298
Northwest Mississippi Community College, Miami – Florida
1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks

Former Seahawks tackle Cortez Kennedy is among the 15 modern-era finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall’s Selection Committee meets in Indianapolis, Indiana on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. This is the forth-straight year of consideration for Kennedy.

The election results will be announced at 2:30 p.m. PT during a one-hour NFL Network special, live from the Super Bowl Media Center. The Class of 2012 will be the 50th class to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Seahawks 1st-round draft pick (3rd player overall), 1990 NFL Draft… Extremely durable, played in 167 of possible 176 games… Had streak of 116 straight games played and club record 100 consecutive starts… First-team All-Rookie by PFWA. . .Voted to a team-record eight Pro Bowls (1992-97, 1999, 2000)… Named first-team (1992, 1993, 1994) or second-team (1991, 1996) All-Pro five times… Named NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 1992… Born August 23, 1968 in Osceola, Arkansas.

The Seahawks used the third overall selection of the 1990 NFL Draft on All-America defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy from the University of Miami (FL). The move proved to be wise as Kennedy became a fixture on the Seahawks defensive line for 11 seasons. Extremely durable, he did not miss a single game until his eighth season.
In his rookie season, Kennedy played in all 16 games, two of which were starts. He produced impressive numbers including a season-high 10 tackles and a sack against the Miami Dolphins. For his efforts, he was named to the NFL’s All-Rookie team.

The following season Kennedy moved into a full-time starting role at right defensive tackle for the Seahawks and responded by earning his first Pro Bowl berth. In 1992, despite the Seahawks finishing with a disappointing 2-14 record, Kennedy was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. It marked just the third time in league history that a player from a losing team won the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year Award. He led Seattle that season with a career-high 14 sacks, the most of any interior lineman, and also recorded a career-best 92 tackles, recovered one fumble and batted down two passes.

Although he was often double- or even triple-teamed, Kennedy managed to lead or rank near the top in tackles each season. In 1996, he was voted to a team record sixth consecutive Pro Bowl, and he also was named the team’s MVP and the winner of the Steve Largent Award; given to the player that best exemplified the spirit, dedication and integrity of the Seahawks. He added two more Pro Bowls following the 1998 and 1999 seasons.

Kennedy recorded one of his finest seasons in 1999. A ten-year veteran, he started all 16 games, recorded 73 tackles, 6.5 sacks and intercepted two passes to help the Seahawks reach the playoffs for the first time since 1988.

In all, he registered 58 sacks, intercepted three passes and scored one touchdown on a fumble recovery during his 167-game career. He twice led the team in sacks (1992 and 1995).

Aside from his eight Pro Bowls, Kennedy was named first-team All-NFL in 1992, 1993 and 1994, selected second-team All-Pro twice, All-AFC four times and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s.

On September 17, 2006, Kennedy became the 10th member inducted into the Seahawks Ring of Honor.

Cortez Kennedy – Career Stats Sacks
Year Team G No.
1990 Seattle 16 1
1991 Seattle 16 6.5
1992 Seattle 16 14
1993 Seattle 16 6.5
1994 Seattle 16 4
1995 Seattle 16 6.5
1996 Seattle 16 8
1997 Seattle 8 2
1998 Seattle 15 2
1999 Seattle 16 6.5
2000 Seattle 16 1
Career Total 167 58
Additional Career Stats: Interceptions: 3-26; Fumble Recovery for TD: 1

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