- The Cleveland Browns released linebacker Mychal Kendricks after federal prosecutors charged him with insider trading.
- Kendricks admitted his wrongdoing in a statement shortly after the charges were made public.
- While Kendricks is no longer on the Browns roster, there’s a chance that he could still get paid by the franchise if he files a grievance.
The Cleveland Browns released linebacker Mychal Kendricks on Thursday after federal prosecutors charged him with insider trading.
In a statement, the Browns explained that they had been somewhat aware of Kendricks’ situation when they signed him back in June on a one-year deal.
“Prior to signing Mychal, we were informed that there was a financial situation that he had been involved with in 2014. We were told Mychal had fully cooperated with investigators as a victim. From what was communicated at that time and based on the numerous questions we asked and further due diligence on our part, including checking with the league office, there was no information discovered that conveyed otherwise.”
As the Browns argue, “circumstances have changed,” and now Kendricks is no longer with the organization.
“Recently, we were provided an update on the matter and the circumstances have changed. We are now dealing with a different set of facts and the additional information we’ve gathered has led us to the decision to release Mychal from our team. Due to the ongoing legal nature of this situation, we will have no further comments.”
Kendricks admitted to his wrongdoing in a statement on Wednesday, shortly after the charges were announced.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 29, 2018
Although the Browns cut Kendricks from their roster, there’s still a chance Cleveland could be on the hook for paying him. According to Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk, the Browns own language in their statement gives them away.
As Florio notes, the Standard Player Contract allows termination “if Player has engaged in personal conduct reasonably judged by Club to adversely affect or reflect on Club.”
Florio recommends Kendricks to consider filing a grievance, as the actions that the Browns are claiming “adversely affect or reflect” on the franchise are things that they admit to already being aware of to a certain extent. Even if the Browns weren’t aware of the entirety of the situation, Florio argues, it looks as though they had enough information to raise some red flags and do a bit more homework before signing him.
That said, the idea of Kendricks succeeding in such a case feels like a long shot, as the Browns claim that Kendricks presented himself as a victim initially. Also, it would be tough to argue after admitting to his crime, that it was the Browns own fault for signing him without adequately vetting his involvement in financial misdeeds.
While it’s still unclear how things will play out, it feels likely that Kendricks won’t be signing another NFL contract until his legal situation is settled.