RENTON -- Despite pleading guilty to felony charges of insider trading in late August, the Seahawks signed former Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks on Friday to aid an injury-riddled linebacker group.
Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright missed practice again on Friday. Wright almost certainly won't play after missing three full weeks of practice after knee surgery during the final week of the preseason. While Wagner may still be able to play despite a groin injury, it seems clear he will not be at full strength.
Kendricks, who started the Super Bowl in February for the Eagles, certainly makes sense as an addition from a football standpoint. He was selected one spot ahead of Wagner in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Eagles. He's appeared in 85 career games with the Eagles with 74 starts during his six seasons in the NFL. He signed with the Cleveland Browns this offseason only to be released after his admission to wrongdoing in the insider trading case.
Kendricks is scheduled to be sentenced in January and is expected to serve some semblance of jail time. Exactly how much remains uncertain. The charge can carry as much as a 25-year sentence, but that appears to be highly unlikely in this case because of Kendricks admitting to the crime and being a first-time offender.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kendricks admitted to swapping cash, NFL tickets, and access to lavish parties with a Wall Street-connected friend for nonpublic market-shifting information.
Kendricks' friend, Damilare Sonoiki, 27, used to work at Goldman Sachs before becoming a sitcom writer. He informed Kendricks on four companies that were about to be acquired by larger companies that netted a windfall of $1.2 million.
Kendricks did not speak with reporters upon signing with the Seahawks on Friday, but he issued a statement about the charges when he pleaded guilty in late August.
“I apologize. Four years ago, I participated in insider trading, and I deeply regret it. 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.
“Since the beginning of the investigation, I have fully cooperated with all of the authorities and will continue to do so. 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.
“I sincerely apologize to my coaches, the owners, and my teammates on the Eagles and the Browns, the NFL, and the magnificent fans to whom I owe my career. I also apologize to my family, who I have failed in this. You all deserve better, and I will work my hardest to re-earn your trust and respect, serve as an advocate to educate others, and show you that I will never be involved in anything like this again. Thank you for your time and hopefully your forgiveness.”
The Browns would release Kendricks shortly after the guilty plea.
Kendricks could still face discipline from the NFL, though that is not expected to impact his ability to play this weekend against the Bears. Having signed with Seattle after the first week of the season, his contract is not guaranteed and the team would not have to pay him during any potential suspension.
Seattle waived/injured linebacker Jermaine Grace to create a spot for Kendricks on the roster. Additionally, they added linebacker Tre'Von Johnson to their practice squad and released running back Lavon Coleman from the squad.
Amara Darboh's contract reinstated, placed on Seahawks injured reserve list:
Wide receiver Amara Darboh is back with the Seahawks on their injured reserve after the NFL reinstated his contract with the team on Friday.
Darboh - a 2016 third-round pick by Seattle - was waived at the end of training camp by the Seahawks. He was claimed off waivers by the New England Patriots only to fail a physical with the team and again be placed on waivers.
Darboh posted a photo on his Twitter account shortly after from a hospital bed announcing that he had had surgery and would be ready for the 2019 season. The move to Seattle's injured reserve list is retroactive to September 5.
The likely conclusion here is that Seattle should have waived Darboh with an injury designation, which they did not do. Upon clearing waivers, he would have reverted to Seattle's injured reserve list. That is likely why his contract has been reinstated and placed on the Seahawks' roster again.
The move means Darboh is still under club control for the 2019 season as his rookie contract set to run through 2020 is back in place.
Photo Credit: MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Mychal Kendricks #95 of the Philadelphia Eagles hits Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots after a pass during Super Bowl Lll at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Eagles defeated the Patriots 41-33. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)