Maybe Pete Carroll just hasn’t had time to watch the news.
A month ago, the news of the Seattle Seahawks bringing in veteran free-agent linebacker Mychal Kendricks wouldn’t have seemed odd. Kendricks has been a good player in his career. The Seahawks could use some depth help at the position.
But, if you’ve been paying attention recently, you know Kendricks has issues other than his football career in limbo. Earlier this month Kendricks, 27, pleaded guilty to insider trading, a scheme that could lead to him spending 25 years in prison. He’ll be sentenced in December.
That didn’t stop the Seahawks. After a visit with the Seahawks the team signed him to a one-year deal — probably smart to not give him a multi-year contract — and he’ll play Monday night against the Chicago Bears according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Seahawks sign Mychal Kendricks despite legal issues
Let’s get this part out of the way: The Seahawks signed Kendricks, even though they’re the same team that wouldn’t sign Colin Kaepernick after talking to him. Not everything that happens in the NFL needs to be compared to Kaepernick, but it’s worth noting in this instance. The Seahawks refused to sign Kaepernick because he wouldn’t assure the team he’d stand during the national anthem. The Seahawks also traded defensive end Michael Bennett for almost nothing even though Bennett is still a productive player. Bennett is among the players who has demonstrated during the national anthem over social issues.
Yet, the Seahawks added Kendricks, who pleaded guilty to a serious crime that carries up to a 25-year sentence. OK.
NFL: The matter is under review
Pro Football talk published a statement from the NFL late Thursday indicating that Kendricks will be permitted to play in the near future.
“The matter is under review,” the NFL told PFT. “He is currently permitted to sign and participate in activites including games.”
Why would Seahawks be interested in Kendricks?
While it’s somewhat baffling why the Seahawks would pick Kendricks of all players to help the defense. There are linebackers out there who aren’t in major legal trouble, who aren’t getting sentenced in a federal court this December.
Presumably the Seahawks figure it’s worth it to have Kendricks for a little while before his sentencing. It’s a truly peculiar transaction.
Kendricks has already apologized for insider trading
Kendricks pleaded guilty to an insider trading scheme that he made $1.2 million on. He knew a Goldman Sachs analyst who passed along stock information before it became public, and in turn Kendricks gave him kickbacks like Eagles tickets and cash. The analyst, Damilare Sonoiki, was planning to also plead guilty according to his lawyer.
It’s not like there’s a lot of gray area. Kendricks apologized right away when federal prosecutors charged him, and he pleaded guilty. When he pleaded guilty in court, he said he was doing so because “I know I was wrong.” It’s not like the Seahawks can argue that the legal system needs to play out here.
Seattle has had a weird offseason in many ways. This is their weirdest move of all.
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