Mychal Kendricks

This Date In Transactions History: Browns Sign Mychal Kendricks

Two years ago today, Mychal Kendricks agreed to terms with the Browns. At the time, the one-year, $2.25MM deal looked like a solid value pickup for the Browns in the second wave of free agency. Instead, the linebacker never played a down for Cleveland. 

What we didn’t know at the time was that Kendricks was involved in a federal investigation for insider trading. Kendricks were aware of the situation, but they say they weren’t clued in on all of the details. Prosecutors alleged that Kendricks and his co-defendant turned $80K in a brokerage account into $1.2MM inside of five months. The insider trading charges he faced could have imprisoned him for up to 37 months, keeping him off the field for at least three years.

When Kendricks’ charges were announced just before the start of the 2018 season, the Browns dropped him. Days later, on Sept. 6, he pleaded guilty in court. Then, just one week after that, Kendricks inked a one-year deal with the Seahawks. Kendricks still had sentencing and a lengthy NFL suspension ahead of him, but Pete Carroll & Co. didn’t want to pass up the chance to sign him at a bargain basement minimum-salaried rate.

Despite the off-the-field issues, Kendricks offered up an impressive resume from his time in Philly, including 74 career starts, 14 sacks, and a 77-tackle campaign in 2017 en route to a Super Bowl ring. Kendricks spent most of 2018 sidelined as he duked it out with the league office, but he returned to form in 2019 as he started in all 14 of his games, tallied 71 stops, and notched three sacks.

Now, Kendricks finds himself in NFL and legal limbo once again. Kendricks was originally set for sentencing on January 23, 2019, but thanks to multiple postponements and the COVID-19 pandemic, Kendricks won’t face the judge until May 29, at the earliest. And, after suffering an ACL tear in January, the Seahawks found linebacker help elsewhere. Depending on how things go from here, Kendricks may eventually find a market for his services as a free agent. Still, it might be a while before we see him back in the fold.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Place Mychal Kendricks On IR

Jan. 8: The Seahawks have placed Kendricks, who will require knee surgery, on IR, per head coach Pete Carroll. The team will promote OT Chad Wheeler from the practice squad to take Kendricks’ place on the roster.

Dec. 30: If you were watching the thrilling Seahawks-49ers bout last night, you saw Seattle linebacker Mychal Kendricks in obvious pain after making a tackle along the sidelines in the third quarter. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Kendricks is believed to have suffered a torn ACL, which would obviously rule him out of the Seahawks’ playoff run (Twitter link).

It’s a tough blow for Seattle, as Kendricks started all 14 games in which he appeared this season and is an important piece of the team’s front seven. Kendricks has compiled 71 tackles, three sacks, four passes defensed, and an interception in 2019.

Of course, this could be last we hear of Kendricks for awhile. He pleaded guilty to insider trading in September 2018, and while his sentencing date has been postponed five times, he is currently scheduled to be sentenced in February 2020.

The Seahawks will travel to Philadelphia to battle the NFC East champion Eagles on wildcard weekend, which is about as favorable of a draw as they could have hoped for. Both teams are far from healthy, but the Eagles have dealt with a historic number of injuries for a playoff squad, so Seattle will have a good chance to advance to the divisional round and perhaps earn a rematch with the 49ers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Cook, Mack, Staley, Ford, Kendricks

All the latest injury updates as we await kickoff in the morning:

  • Vikings fans were left holding their breath on Monday night, when Stefon Diggs and Dalvin Cook went down with injuries on the same play. Diggs soon returned to the game, and it looks like Cook is alright as well. The star running back aggravated a pre-existing injury during Minnesota’s loss to Seattle, but he was removed from the final injury report on Friday and is all systems go for Sunday’s game against the Lions. It’s still possible the Vikings seek to lessen his workload, in which case promising backup Alexander Mattison would pick up the slack.
  • Speaking of banged up running backs, the Colts’ Marlon Mack got back to a full practice and will make his return Sunday against the Bucs. Mack has missed the past two games with a hand injury, and Indianapolis could really use him as they’ve lost four of their past five games. Mack had minor surgery on his hand a few weeks back.
  • Joe Staley is returning from injury for the second time this season. The 49ers’ left tackle has missed nine games this year due to various ailments, but is returning for this weekend’s pivotal game against the Saints. San Francisco has obviously been getting by just fine without him, but his presence will be a huge boost as they go up against a really tough New Orleans defensive front. Staley isn’t the only key piece the 49ers are getting back, as pass-rusher Dee Ford will also make his return to the lineup. Ford, who signed a massive five-year, $85MM deal with his new team after getting traded from the Chiefs, has missed each of the past two games with a quad injury.
  • The Seahawks’ defense looks like it’ll be a bit shorthanded, as Mychal Kendricks is being listed as doubtful for their Sunday Night Football game against the Rams. This will be the linebacker’s first missed game of the season, and he has started all 12 for Seattle. Rookie third-round pick Cody Barton could get his first career start as a result, tweets Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.

NFC West Notes: Kendricks, Williams, 49ers

Mychal Kendricks‘ sentencing date keeps getting postponed, and the Seahawks keep reaping the rewards. Per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com, Kendricks is now due to be sentenced for insider trading — which he pleaded guilty to in September 2018 — in February 2020 (Twitter link). The date has been pushed back five times now, and instead of losing Kendricks on November 21 (the most recent date), Seattle will have their starting weakside ‘backer for its playoff run.

Now for more from the NFC West:

  • The Cardinals signed tight end Maxx Williams to a modest one-year, $805K pact this offseason, but they have been impressed enough with his performance — especially as a pass blocker — to sign him to an extension several days ago. And he will get a sizable raise, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says the two-year pact, which keeps Williams in the desert through 2021, is worth $7MM (Twitter link).
  • 49ers CB Jason Verrett and DL Kentavius Street are both getting healthier and are candidates to come off of IR at some point this season, as Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (citing head coach Kyle Shanahan) tweets. Both players have had difficult injury luck in their careers, so this is encouraging news, and San Francisco would surely love to have Verrett and Street as depth for the stretch run.
  • The news is not as good for 49ers rookie WR Jalen Hurd, as Shanahan says it’s unlikely Hurd will be ready to come off of IR this year (Twitter link via Maiocco).
  • The 49ers are also planning on being without DE Dee Ford for a couple of weeks, per Maiocco (via Twitter). Injuries have limited Ford during his first year in San Francisco, though he has managed to post 6.5 sacks. Ford is currently dealing with a hamstring injury.

West Notes: Hawks, Brown, Raiders, Bolts

Pete Carroll said the Seahawks indeed looked into Antonio Brown once the Raiders released him on Saturday, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN. Carroll said he and GM John Schneider always communicate on potential moves but added, “Not everything is always as it seems and you’ve got check into stuff and figure out what’s going on.” Carroll also gave the impression that a stronger Seahawks pursuit of the four-time All-Pro may not have mattered, indicating Brown was intent on signing with the Patriots. “He was headed to New England. He was going,” Carroll said. The Seahawks and Browns were the two other teams mentioned as interested in Brown.

Now for more from the league’s west divisions:

  • More than a year after pleading guilty to insider trading, Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks has still not been sentenced and will not be any time soon, according to Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith. Kendricks’ sentencing, which has already been delayed for nine months, was delayed again and is now scheduled for November 21. Kendricks started for the Seahawks this past Sunday against the Bengals, tallying seven tackles (one for loss).
  • Jon Gruden scoffed when asked about Brown’s lawsuit, as Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Authentic relays (Twitter link). “I’m not aware of anything,” Gruden said. “If you want to ask about him you can call his employer.” The civil suit surfaced three days after Brown agreed to terms with the Patriots.
  • Adding to the Chargers’ injury woes, Anthony Lynn said today that he is concerned about the knee of wide receiver Mike Williams, ESPN’s Adam Schefter relays (Twitter link). Earlier today, it was reported that tight end Hunter Henry had suffered a tibia fracture to his left knee and would be sidelined for 4-6 weeks. The Bolts are already without starting left tackle Russell Okung and All-Pro safety Derwin James. Williams dealt with injury trouble as a rookie but played in 16 games last season.
  • Seahawks first-round pick L.J. Collier returned to practice today for the first time since spraining his ankle early in camp. Carroll said the TCU defensive end product has a chance to make his debut Sunday against the Steelers, Henderson adds. The Seahawks stand to have their entire defensive line healthy soon, with Ziggy Ansah also on the verge of making his Seattle debut. Ansah was limited Wednesday.

West Rumors: 49ers, Seahawks, Broncos

It’s been a long offseason for the 49ers, who have seen numerous key players deal with injuries throughout the spring and summer. Add more to the list of San Francisco talents set to miss the preseason. Jerick McKinnon and Weston Richburg are both unlikely to play until Week 1. Given $18MM guaranteed, McKinnon is still dealing with knee trouble after missing all of last season with an ACL tear. The sixth-year running back received a platelet-rich plasma injection on his knee and is expected to miss the 49ers’ August slate, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com notes. The team activated him from the PUP list Tuesday, but Kyle Shanahan said his prized 2018 offseason signing experienced significant soreness after going through individual drills the past two days. Richburg, who remains on the active/PUP list after a January knee surgery, is being targeted a Week 1 return. So are Nick Bosa and Jason Verrett. The 49ers hope Dee Ford, who received a PRP injection on his injured knee, can play by the team’s dress-rehearsal preseason game.

Here’s the latest West news from outside of San Francisco:

  • With the Seahawks in desperate need of available pass rushers come Week 1, more blitz opportunities may be on tap. Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendricks (should he be on the field) are in position to be used more as rushers. “If we can play really good D, it’s going to be because of Bobby and K.J. and Mychal and the guys in the linebacker spot. We’re going to utilize them as much as we can to be a factor in all aspects, run and pass [defense],” Pete Carroll said, via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson. “Those guys are really good pass defenders, and they love coming off the edge too. We’ll plan on using those guys a lot.” After Frank Clark‘s departure, the Seahawks have Ziggy Ansah and L.J. Collier injured. Jarran Reed incurred a six-game suspension. Wright has not collected a sack since 2016, when he had four. Wagner had 4.5 that year but recorded 2.5 since.
  • Theo Riddick will earn a $2MM 2019 base salary with the Broncos, and $750K of it is fully guaranteed, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Another $250K will be available in per-game roster bonuses. Overall, Riddick signed for $2.5MM with $1MM guaranteed. This makes it a near-certainty Riddick will appear on the Broncos’ 53-man roster in September.
  • The Broncos are already down Todd Davis for multiple weeks; they will be without one of his top backups for longer than that. Joe Jones suffered a triceps injury this week, and a second opinion delivered more clarity on the inside linebacker’s timeline. Jones will be out between six and eight weeks, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweets. But he will not need surgery, which could increase his chances of making the Broncos. If Jones hits IR before the Broncos finalize their 53-man unit, the special-teamer will be ineligible to return for them this season.
  • Returning 2018 fifth-round pick Johnny Townsend would seemingly be in line to keep his job as the Raiders‘ punter, but Jon Gruden said rookie UDFA A.J. Cole has put himself in the conversation to unseat the incumbent, per Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (on Twitter). Cole would be an option to handle Raiders kickoffs as well.

Latest On Seahawks LB Mychal Kendricks

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said he expects linebacker Mychal Kendricks to be available this season, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. That is perhaps unsurprising given that Seattle signed Kendricks to a one-year, $4.5MM deal in March, but in light of Kendricks’ legal situation, Carroll’s remarks are still noteworthy. Carroll added that Kendricks himself is optimistic about a favorable resolution to his criminal case (Twitter link via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com).

Kendricks was supposed to face sentencing for insider trading in April, but his sentencing date keeps getting pushed back, and the new date is currently unknown. John P. Gilbert of FieldGulls.com observes that Kendricks’ co-defendant, Damilare Sonoiki — whose sentencing is scheduled for July 15 — petitioned the court for permission to travel in May so that he could seek employment. And as Gilbert points out, it would be curious if Sonoiki filed that petition in search of two-month employment prior to a court appearance that could theoretically send him to jail for a significant stretch, so it sounds as if Sonoiki believes he can avoid prison time entirely.

Since Sonoiki and Kendricks both pleaded guilty to the same crimes, it stands to reason that if Sonoiki can avoid jail time, Kendricks can, too. Kendricks was said to be facing 30 to 37 months in prison.

Carroll could not offer any further comment, but he would obviously love to have a talented LB like Kendricks in the fold. Kendricks made his Seahawks debut — following a post-arrest release from the Browns — in Week 2 of the 2018 season against the Bears, but after some back-and-forth with the league, he was hit with an eight-game suspension in October. His 2018 season ended with 20 tackles and two sacks over the course of four games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Ingram, Suggs, Kendricks

Here are the latest details from some agreed-upon contracts during the second wave of free agency. All links courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, unless otherwise noted.

Seahawks Re-Sign LB Mychal Kendricks

The Seahawks have re-signed linebacker Mychal Kendricks, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). It’s a one-year, $4MM deal, tweets Mike Garfolo of NFL.com. Kendricks, of course, was arrested for insider trading last year and will face sentencing next month.

Previously, head coach Pete Carroll indicated that he would like Kendricks back in 2019, provided that a prison sentence did not interfere with his availability. Kendricks could be facing 30-to-37 months in prison, so there’s no way of knowing whether he’ll be able to play football again anytime soon. If he is imprisoned for 37 months, he’ll be 31 years old at the time of his release and three years removed from the game.

Kendricks made his Seahawks debut — following a post-arrest release from the Browns — in Week 2 against the Bears, but after some back-and-forth with the league, he was hit with an eight-game suspension in October. His 2018 season ended with 20 tackles and two sacks over the course of four games.

Seattle could potentially lose fellow linebacker K.J. Wright to free agency, so Kendricks could help fill at the second level, provided he’s allowed to play.

Latest On Seahawks’ Mychal Kendricks

Mychal Kendricks‘ sentencing date for his insider trading case has been moved from Jan. 25 to April 4, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. District court in Pennsylvania handling the case (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson). It’s a development that could impact Kendricks’ football future. 

Previously, head coach Pete Carroll indicated that he would like Kendricks back in 2019, provided that a prison sentence did not interfere with his availability. Kendricks could be facing 30-to-37 months in prison, so there’s no way of knowing whether he’ll be able to play football again anytime soon. If he is imprisoned for 37 months, he’ll be 31 years old at the time of his release and three years removed from the game.

Of course, the later sentencing date further complicates matters. Kendricks will not realistically be able to sign a contract with a team or gear up for the 2019 season while his freedom hangs in the balance. In a best case scenario, Kendricks can hope for a slap on the wrist and the ability to market himself in the second wave of free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.