RENTON, Wash. – The Seattle Seahawks are expected to sign linebacker Mychal Kendricks to a one-year contract despite his recent guilty plea on insider trading charges.
Two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Thursday that Kendricks’ agreement is expected to be finalized in time for him to join the Seahawks for their Week 2 Game at Chicago. They spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the signing.
ESPN first reported Kendricks’ deal with the Seahawks.
Kendricks signed a one-year contract with the Cleveland Browns in June after winning a Super Bowl title last season with the Philadelphia Eagles. Kendricks pleaded guilty last week to insider trading charges in Philadelphia, but his sentencing is not expected to take place until January.
The Browns released him Aug. 29, after the charges were filed. While Seattle is signing Kendricks to bolster its depth at linebacker, it’s unclear how long he may be able to play for the Seahawks as the NFL has yet to impose any discipline.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the situation is under review and Kendricks is currently allowed to sign and participate in activities, including games.
Seattle’s reasoning is the need for depth. Seattle played the opener without starting linebacker K.J. Wright because of minor knee surgery in late August, and All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner was an unexpected addition to the Seahawks injury report on Thursday with a groin injury. The uncertainty of Wagner may have prompted Seattle’s move with Kendricks.
The 5-foot-11, 240-pounder recorded a team-high eight tackles in last season’s NFC Championship against Minnesota and had four in Philadelphia’s Super Bowl win. Kendricks signed with Cleveland in the offseason and the Browns said they made the decision to release him after learning more about his involvement.
Federal prosecutors said Kendricks used tips from an acquaintance to make about $1.2 million in illegal profits on four major trading deals.
Prosecutors say his co-defendant, Damilare Sonoiki, was paid $10,000 in kickbacks in the scheme from 2014-2015, as well as perks like tickets to Eagles games and tagging along to a music video shoot or nightclub appearances.
Sonoiki had been working as a junior analyst at Goldman Sachs but left the financial field and has most recently been writing for TV shows. An IMDB profile lists him as a former writer on the popular TV series “Black-ish” as well as other movies and TV shows.
In a statement released by his lawyer the day he was charged, Kendricks said he was sorry and takes full responsibility for his actions.
“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,” he said in the statement.
He also claimed he didn’t take any of the profits for himself but didn’t elaborate on where the money went.
“I am committed to repaying all of the funds gained illegally and accept the consequences of my actions.” he said.
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