Despite legal troubles, Seahawks sign Kendricks to aid defense
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks are hoping Mychal Kendricks can provide a short-term boost on the field that overshadows the issues of signing a player with a pending jail sentencing in his future.
The Seahawks announced the signing of Kendricks on Friday to a one-year deal despite his recent guilty plea on insider trading charges. It’s an odd situation for all parties involved, but fills a need for Seattle even if it’s just for a short time. Kendricks could make his Seattle debut on Monday night when it plays at Chicago, and the finalization of his deal came after visiting the team on Thursday.
Kendricks was not made available to speak with the media on Friday. Seattle coach Pete Carroll is scheduled to address the media on Saturday before the team leaves for Chicago.
Kendricks pleaded guilty last week to insider trading charges in Philadelphia. His sentencing is expected in January.
He signed a one-year contract with the Cleveland Browns in June after winning a Super Bowl title last season with the Philadelphia Eagles, and he was released by the Browns on Aug. 29 after the charges were filed. While Seattle is signing Kendricks to add depth at linebacker, it’s unclear how long he might able to play because the NFL has yet to impose any discipline.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Thursday night the situation is under review and Kendricks is currently allowed to sign and participate in activities, including games.
That makes for a strange situation considering Kendricks’ guilty plea.
Kendricks’ signing is largely because of injury concerns at linebacker. Seattle is without K.J. Wright after minor knee surgery late in the preseason and he only began running this week. Additionally, All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner is dealing with a groin injury suffered in the opener that kept him out of practice both Thursday and Friday, and his availability for Monday night is unclear.
Veteran Duane Brown said Kendricks’ situation wasn’t addressed in any team conversations prior to the announcement of the signing.
“I’m not very clued in to the particulars of everything that is going on,” Brown said. “But I know he’s a heck of a player. I’ve competed against him a couple of times when he was in Philly. I know he can be a good addition to our team. Everything else will have to handle itself and let that process play out. We’re embracing him. He’s here now. He’s part of the team.”
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 receiving perks such as 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.
Kendricks 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.”
NOTES: Also not practicing on Friday were WR Doug Baldwin (knee), and starting CBs Tre Flowers (hamstring) and Shaquill Griffin (thigh). … WR Amara Darboah has reverted to the Seahawks injured reserve list. Darboah was waived when Seattle made its final roster cuts. He was signed by New England but underwent surgery on his shoulder/collarbone area after being signed by the Patriots. According to the league’s transaction report, Darboah’s contract with Seattle was reinstated. Darboah was a third-round pick in 2017.
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