Mychal Kendricks

West Rumors: Chiefs, Hawks, Rams, Tryouts

With Patrick Mahomes being arguably the NFL MVP through two weeks, the Chiefs are exiting a tough two-game stretch — road assignments against the Chargers and Steelers — at 2-0. They’ve done this without their defensive centerpiece. Eric Berry‘s been bothered by a nagging heel injury and hasn’t practice since early August. However, the three-time All-Pro safety is improving in his recovery and may be ready to practice this week, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The cancer survivor was already trying to surmount his second severe NFL injury, having also missed most of the 2011 season prior to tearing his Achilles’ tendon in Week 1 of last year, and is important for a Chiefs defense that’s struggled in shootout wins.

Here’s the latest out of the Wests entering the Seahawks-Bears Monday tilt.

  • Mychal Kendricks will play plenty in his Seahawks debut Monday night, John Schneider said (Twitter link via Stacy Jo Rost of ESPN 710). Austin Calitro will be Seattle’s middle linebacker in place of the injured Bobby Wagner, Schneider said, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times expects Kendricks to primarily play on the weak side (Twitter link). He’s working with the starters in warmups, per Condotta (on Twitter). Kendricks is facing an NFL suspension for his insider trading charge but is appealing and is thus allowed to play tonight.
  • Rams practice squad center Aaron Neary‘s run into trouble. He was arrested Sunday for suspicion of DUI and hit and run charges, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com reports. Neary’s blood-alcohol level of .17 was more than twice the legal limit, and Thiry adds he was booked into the Ventura County Jail. Neary came to the Rams recently, after being waived by the Browns to create roster space for Anthony Zettel. He spent most of last season on the Rams’ practice squad, playing in one 2017 game, but may have trouble keeping that spot.
  • Clive Walford ventured to Kansas City for a Chiefs workout on Monday, Rapoport tweets. The former Raiders tight end was a Jets cut this summer. After being a regular in Oakland’s passing game in 2015-16, the one-time third-round pick only caught nine passes for 80 yards last season.
  • The Raiders‘ affinity for 30-somethings this offseason should be well known, and Jon Gruden said the team would have signed Clinton McDonald in March had a medical issue not intervened, per Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (on Twitter). McDonald signed with the Broncos, but they reworked his contract because of an injury. He’s now with the Raiders, having made his Raider debut in Denver.
  • Joe Callahan was among a contingent that worked out for the Raiders on Monday, Gehlken tweets. The now-well-traveled backup quarterback was most recently with the Eagles during the preseason. Quarterback Kyle Allen, tight end Billy Brown, running back Orleans Darkwa, wide receivers Roger Lewis and Hunter Sharp also auditioned for the Silver and Black, per NFL reporter Howard Balzer (on Twitter). The Colts, Jets, Bills, Patriots (twice) and Redskins have brought in Darkwa for workouts this year.
  • Former Broncos backup inside linebacker Zaire Anderson will work out for the Cardinals on Tuesday, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Anderson spent three years with the Broncos — 2015-17, being on Denver’s practice squad during its Super Bowl season — before being a post-preseason cut. Also working out for the Cardinals: linebacker Nigel Harris, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter).

Seahawks LB Mychal Kendricks Suspended, Has Appealed

The NFL has suspended new Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. However, Kendricks has appealed the suspension — the length of which is not yet known — and will therefore be eligible to play until the league makes its ruling. The appeal is expected to be heard within the next 10 days or so.

Kendricks, of course, was suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, as he has pleaded guilty to insider trading and has a sentencing hearing scheduled for January 2019. He is reportedly facing 30 to 37 months in prison.

The Browns signed Kendricks back in June, but Cleveland quickly released him after news of the insider trading charge broke in August. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll, however, said his team did all of the research it could before signing Kendricks, whom Carroll believes is entitled to a second chance.

Carroll said, “We had done a lot of homework on it. [The insider trading] happened four and a half years ago, so it’s a story that’s been worked on for a long time. There’s a lot of good information. We’ve come to learn who he is and what he’s all about and how remorseful he was and how he admitted to his mistake a long time ago.”

As Schefter observes, the NFL — which was considering placing Kendricks on the commissioner’s exempt list before Cleveland released him — will have a tough decision to make. Kendricks made immediate restitution and has no criminal record, so the league must figure out what to do with a player involved in a white-collar crime who has tried to make amends for the situation.

Kendricks will make his Seattle debut tomorrow night against the Bears. He will likely see a lot of playing time, as the Seahawks have already injured linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Reactions, Notes On Mychal Kendricks Signing

The Mychal Kendricks saga took an interesting turn this evening, as the free agent linebacker signed a deal with the Seahawks. The 27-year-old recently pleaded guilty to insider trading after profiting more than $1MM from non-public investment information.

Even with the news that Kendrick was working out for Seattle earlier today, there was skepticism that the free agent would be able to secure a deal. After all, the charge would seemingly fall under the NFL’s personal-conduct policy, meaning the league could impose their own, separate punishment. “NFL PR Guy” Brian McCarthy told NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport that no decision has been made regarding a potential suspension (Twitter link).

“The matter is under review,” McCarthy said. “He is currently permitted to sign and participate in activities including games.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes and reactions to the Kendricks signing…

  • ESPN’s Adam Schefter provides some clarification (via Twitter) on Kendricks’ sentencing and potential punishment. While the player was originally scheduled to be sentenced in December, Schefter says the date has been moved to late January. This is important when it comes to Kendricks’ playing status, as it’d mean he’d be able to play the entire season (barring a suspension). Schefter also notes that the linebacker is facing 30 to 37 months in prison, a far cry from the 25 years that was originally suggested.
  • Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes that Kendricks pleading guilty to the charge likely contributed to the Seahawks decision to sign him. In fact, admitting to the crime was a bit shocking, and it led the judge to question whether he was coerced into the plea. “…I know I was wrong,” Kendricks said. “I know that I made the decision to accept information, secret information, and it wasn’t the right thing to do.”
  • The reason to add another linebacker could be partly attributed to K.J. Wright‘s absence, as the veteran has been recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. While he’s expected to miss this weekend’s game, Pete Carroll sounded optimistic that the 29-year-old will return soon. “He’s running today,” Carroll said (via ESPN.com) .“He felt pretty good. We’ll see how he goes. He’s going day-to-day. He ran yesterday and he’s working out again today so — he hasn’t done that yet, but he’s making progress. He’s feeling pretty good.”

Seahawks Sign LB Mychal Kendricks

Despite his ongoing legal issues, Mychal Kendricks will get another shot in the NFL. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Seahawks have signed the free agent linebacker. Kendricks worked out for Seattle earlier today.

After being charged with insider trading in late August, the 27-year-old was released by the Browns. Kendricks has since pleaded guilty, and he faces a lengthy prison stay. The charge stems from an incident that occurred while he was with the Eagles four years ago.

The sentencing has been scheduled for January (via Twitter), so the Seahawks could get a full season out of the veteran (Schefter notes that Kendricks is expected to play on Sunday). Of course, the charge could very well fall under the NFL’s personal-conduct umbrella, meaning Kendricks could be forced to miss additional games due to suspension.

The 2012 second-round pick spent the first six seasons of his career with the Eagles, including a 2017 campaign that saw him compile 77 tackles, two sacks, and six passes defended en route to a Super Bowl championship. After requesting a trade, Philly released the linebacker in May, and he later signed a one-year deal to join the Browns.

The Seahawks still have K.J. Wright recovering from knee surgery; he missed Week 1 and could vert well miss Week 2. Shaquem Griffin and Barkevious Mingo flanked Bobby Wagner as Seahawks second-level starters against the Broncos, and the team is also rostering Jake MartinJermaine Grace, and Austin Calitro. It’s uncertain how much playing time Kendricks will receive once the linebacker corps is entirely healthy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mychal Kendricks Visiting Seahawks

Mychal Kendricks‘ time with the Browns ended ignominiously after he was charged in an insider trading scandal. He’s since pleaded guilty and could face substantial prison time.

However, at least one team is still curious about the linebacker’s football future. Kendricks visited the Seahawks on Thursday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

It’s uncertain at this juncture, obviously, that Kendricks will be able to continue his NFL career. He faces up to 25 years in prison because of the insider trading incident that occurred while he was with the Eagles four years ago.

Kendricks is one of the better linebackers in the NFL and isn’t yet 28. He played a key role for the Super Bowl champion Eagles edition last season and was set to see extensive time for a Browns team that has a crowded linebacker situation.

The Seahawks still have K.J. Wright recovering from knee surgery; he missed Week 1 and could well miss Week 2. Shaquem Griffin and Barkevious Mingo flanked Bobby Wagner as Seahawks second-level starters against the Broncos.

But with Wright presumably set to return at some point in the near future, this fit seems curious — especially given Kendricks’ extraordinarily rare situation and potential lack of availability. Even if Kendricks can evade prison time, this incident figures to fall under the NFL’s personal-conduct umbrella.

In the meantime, he may still have an opportunity to play. Sentencing isn’t scheduled until December in Kendricks’ case, but it would certainly make for a strange situation were the six-year veteran to sign somewhere prior to that point.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mychal Kendricks Pleads Guilty To Insider Trading

Former Eagles and Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks pleaded guilty to insider trading in front of a federal judge on Thursday in Philadelphia, Tommy Rowan of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Kendricks could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for December. The 27-year-old defender admitted guilt in scheme perpetrated years ago a statement last week, shortly before the Browns released him.

Because I know I was wrong,” Kendricks replied when U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter asked why he pleaded guilty. “I know that I made the decision to accept information, secret information, and it wasn’t the right thing to do. I’m making the decision because it’s the right thing to do.”

The former Goldman Sachs analyst-turned-sitcom writer who participated in this scheme with Kendricks, 27-year-old Damilare Sonoiki, is also expected to plead guilty. Kendricks said he did not use any of the $1.2MM profits and intends to pay back all illegally obtained funds.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Bears, Ravens, Packers, Browns

Among the offers the Raiders received for edge rusher Khalil Mack, the Bears‘ was “by far” the strongest, tweets Michael Lombardi of The Athletic. Chicago eventually acquired Mack, so it’s unsurprising their offer was the most substantial, but Lombardi’s report may indicate the Bears outbid rivals by several magnitudes. In the end, Chicago sent Oakland a 2019 first-round pic, a 2010 first-round pick, a 2020 third-round pick, and a 2019 sixth-round pick in exchange for Mack, a 2020 second-round round pick, and a conditional 2020 fifth-round pick. The Bears have since extended Mack, making him the NFL’s highest-paid defender.

Browns Release Mychal Kendricks

The Browns announced they’ve released Mychal Kendricks. The 27-year-old linebacker was charged with insider trading earlier on Wednesday and if convicted could face up to 25 years in prison.

Prior to signing Mychal, we were informed that there was a financial situation that he had been involved with in 2014. We were told Mychal had fully cooperated with investigators as a victim,” GM John Dorsey said in a statement. “From what was communicated at that time and based on the numerous questions we asked and further due diligence on our part, including checking with the league office, there was no information discovered that conveyed otherwise.

“Recently, we were provided an update on the matter and the circumstances have changed. We are now dealing with a different set of facts and the additional information we’ve gathered has led us to the decision to release Mychal from our team.”

The Browns knew Kendricks was involved in a federal investigation upon signing him earlier this year, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports. However, both Cabot and the Associated Press’ Claudia Lauer report the team did not know the extent of the investigation. Kendricks’ camp led the Browns to believe the 27-year-old defender was not the target of the probe and wouldn’t be facing a situation like the one he’s in now, Cabot reports.

Kendricks admitted wrongdoing in a scheme that went into effect four years ago. In addition to the possible lengthy prison term, he faces a $5.25MM fine, per Lauer. Both Kendricks and Damilare Sonoiki, whom U.S. attorney William M. McSwain said orchestrated the trades, are expected to plead guilty soon, according to Philly.com. Sonoiki helped Kendricks turn $80K in a brokerage account into $1.2MM in less than five months, detailed in the charges (via Yahoo.com’s Charles Robinson, on Twitter). Kendricks said he did not use any of these profits will pay back all funds obtained illegally.

Since the beginning of the investigation, I have fully cooperated with the authorities and will continue to do so,” part of Kendricks’ statement read. “I accept full responsibility for my actions. Although I did not take any of the profits for myself, I am committed to repaying all of the funds gained illegally and accept the consequences of my actions.”

The Eagles released Kendricks earlier this year after he hovered on the trade block for multiple offseasons. He’d recently helped Philadelphia secure its first Super Bowl title by working as a three-down linebacker for most of last season. With the Browns, he joined a deeper linebacker corps but was expected to play plenty. He signed a one-year deal worth $2.25MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns’ Kendricks Admits To Insider Trading

Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks was charged with insider trading, according to an announcement from U.S. attorney William McSwain. Shortly after the announcement, Kendricks publicly fessed up to the crime. 

I apologize. Four years ago, I participated in insider trading, and I deeply regret it,” Kendricks said in a statement. “I invested money with a former friend of mine who I thought I could trust and who I greatly admired. His background as a Harvard graduate and an employee of Goldman Sachs gave me a false sense of confidence. To that point, I had worked my tail off since I was 5 years old to become the football player that I am today. I was drawn in by the allure of being more than just a football player. While I didn’t fully understand all of the details of the illegal trades, I knew it was wrong, and I wholeheartedly regret my actions.”

In a statement of their own, the Browns said that Kendricks will not join the team in Detroit for Thursday’s preseason finale against the Lions. Kendricks will enter a guilty plea when the time comes, but it’s not clear what kind of punishment the government will be seeking. Even if Kendricks escapes serious legal consequences, he could be subject to a suspension from the NFL.

Kendricks appeared in 15 games last season for the Eagles and racked up 75 tackles. He also logged 16 tackles in the postseason amid the Eagles’ run to their first-ever Super Bowl title. After years of trade speculation, the Eagles cut Kendricks in May, freeing him up to join the Browns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Vikings, Dunlap, Jackson

One of the final pieces to the Vikings‘ extensive extension puzzle, Stefon Diggs does not want to leave the Twin Cities anytime soon. Although the emerging wide receiver could be in line for WR1 money on the open market next year, Diggs would prefer his second contract come from the Vikings — as so many of his peers’ have in recent years.

I want to be here. I love being here,” Diggs said, (Twitter link, via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press). “I love being a part of the organization. They took a chance on me early on so I love it here as far as where we’re at. … Hopefully, we can get some things done and we’ll see how it goes.”

The Vikings have discussed an extension with Diggs’ camp, but nothing appears to be imminent, per Tomasson. Diggs and Anthony Barr represent the final two steps in Minnesota’s years-long effort to fortify a core, one that stands to be in its primes throughout Kirk Cousins‘ contract. If Diggs were to hit free agency, though, he would almost certainly be a coveted commodity. While Odell Beckham Jr. could theoretically be a 2019 free agent, that seems unlikely. Diggs could be the top wideout on a market that as of now would include Devin Funchess, Randall Cobb and Kelvin Benjamin.

Here’s the latest from the North.

  • Carlos Dunlap and the Bengals may be approaching the finish line on what would be a third Cincinnati contract for the veteran defensive end. Drew Rosenhaus spent time in Cincinnati this weekend, and Dunlap said (via Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer), “When you see him out here you know he is doing something. He’s out here for a reason.” Dunlap and the Bengals have made progress on a deal this offseason, but the 29-year-old pass rusher remains tied to his second contract. That deal expires after this season. Dunlap wants to play the rest of his NFL days in Cincinnati. “I would love to get it done. I would love to finish my career here as a Bengal,” he said, via Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com.
  • Lamar Jackson‘s slender frame emerged as a pre-draft topic, but the Ravens rookie not planning a significant weight-gain project as he readies for the NFL. Jackson said (via Terez Paylor of Yahoo.com) he’s at 216 pounds and doesn’t want to be above 220, in order to maintain his elite speed.
  • First-round pick Mike Hughes will work as the Vikings‘ kick returner, while veteran Marcus Sherels will start off as the punt returner, Tomasson tweets. Though there will be competition, this would be the team’s preferred arrangement. Re-signed this offseason, Sherels has been Minnesota’s punt-return man for seven years. Hughes only worked as a return man in one season, last year at Central Florida, but he totaled three return touchdowns in that time.
  • As expected, Mychal Kendricks saw his first Browns action as a weak-side linebacker, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal notes. Recovering from offseason ankle surgery, the former Eagles ‘backer is participating on a limited basis for now. Ulrich suggests Kendricks may be a super-sub, working at all three Browns linebacker spots while Christian Kirksey, Jamie Collins and Joe Schobert retain their first-string roles.