Browns LB Kendricks charged with insider trading, issues apology

Reuters
Jan 3, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants tight end Will Tye (45) carries the ball to score a touchdown as Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks (95) attempts to tackle during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

Jan 3, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants tight end Will Tye (45) carries the ball to score a touchdown as Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks (95) attempts to tackle during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks apologized on Wednesday, shortly after he was hit with federal charges for insider trading.

U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain, based in Philadelphia, announced the charges on Wednesday.

Kendricks joined the Browns on a one-year, $2.25 million contract in June after he was released by the Eagles in May.

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According to Cleveland.com, the Browns knew Kendricks was involved in a federal investigation at the time, but they were led to believe by Kendricks' camp that he was not the target of the probe for committing any crimes. The report adds the team is currently deciding whether or not to part ways with the linebacker, whose contract included $500,000 in guarantees.

"We are aware of the situation and in communication with the league office as we gather more information," the Browns said in a statement. "Mychal will not make the trip to Detroit [for Thursday's preseason finale]. We will comment further at the appropriate time."

Kendricks, 27, publicly admitted his part in the alleged scheme on Wednesday and said he is cooperating with authorities and paying back the approximately $1.2 million he profited.

"Four years ago, I participated in insider trading, and I deeply regret it," his statement reads, in part. "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."

"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 added.

According to McSwain, former investment banker Damilare Sonoiki set up a bank account for Kendricks to access and in return received cash and other kickbacks for passing on insider knowledge.

"Within a year of beginning his employment at the investment bank, he was brazenly committing crimes," McSwain said, per NBC 10 in Philadelphia. "He is alleged to have passed material non-public info to an acquaintance, Mr. Kendricks."

According to Philly.com, both Sonoiki and Kendricks are expected to plead guilty in the next few weeks.

Kendricks was Philadelphia's 2012 second-round draft pick out of Cal. In six seasons with the Eagles, he appeared in 85 games (74 starts) and recorded 459 tackles, 14 sacks, three interceptions and six forced fumbles.

En route to winning a Super Bowl championship with the Eagles last season, Kendricks logged 77 tackles, two sacks and six passes defensed while playing 63.3 percent of defensive snaps.

--Field Level Media

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