RENTON, Wash. — Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the team believes linebacker Mychal Kendricks will be available this season despite his ongoing insider trading case.
The 28-year-old Kendricks pleaded guilty last September to insider trading, then signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks a week later while Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright were injured. One source familiar with the situation said in October that Kendricks could be facing 30 to 37 months in prison — as had been reported — based on federal guidelines and the amount of money involved in his case.
“We do expect him to be on the team this year,” Carroll said Tuesday as the Seahawks began their mandatory minicamp.
Kendricks’ sentencing has been postponed multiple times for reasons that remain unclear.
“There’s not much that I can say that’s going to be proper at this time,” Carroll said. “Everything’s moving along and he’s real optimistic about how things are going. But really not too much to report. I can’t tell you much more than that.”
The Seahawks brought Kendricks back on a one-year, team-friendly deal that reflected the uncertainty over his situation. He received no signing bonus and no guaranteed money. The $4.5 million base value of his deal includes $2 million in per-game active roster bonuses plus two bonuses worth $250,000 apiece that are tied to Kendricks reporting to training camp and being on the 53-man roster in Week 1. He could make an additional $1 million in incentives tied to playing time and sacks, bringing the max value of the deal to $5.5 million.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission complaint, a Goldman Sachs investment banking analyst illegally fed Kendricks information in 2014 about corporate acquisitions that his bank was advising before those deals were publicly announced. The complaint alleges that those tips helped Kendricks make about $1.2 million in illegal profits by purchasing securities in four companies that were about to be acquired.
Kendricks said in a statement that while he didn’t fully understand the details of the illegal trades, he knew it was wrong and that he “wholeheartedly” regretted his actions.
He appeared in three games for Seattle before serving an eight-game NFL suspension. His season ended in his first game back because of leg and knee injuries that landed him on IR.
Kendricks has returned to practice from those injuries. Carroll said he recently hurt his pectoral muscle in the weight room but did not describe that as a serious issue.
If he is indeed available this season, the Seahawks will have a surplus of starting linebackers. They re-signed Wright, whom Kendricks had replaced on the weakside last season. All-Pro middle linebacker Wagner is under contract for another season, as is Barkevious Mingo, who started on the strong side in Carroll’s 4-3 defense last season.
Carroll has said the Seahawks plan to get Kendricks on the field at the same time as Wagner and Wright and that this could be the best group of linebackers he has had in his nine seasons in Seattle.