How Mychal Kendricks is allowed to play for the Seahawks right now

Seattle signed Mychal Kendricks to a one-year deal after he pleaded guilty to insider trading. A quick look at how this is possible.

The Seattle Seahawks made a splash in the NFL news cycle when they signed former Eagles and Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks to a one-year deal. Normally, this type of signing wouldn’t turn into a national talking point, but Kendricks is currently awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to insider trading last month.

On the surface, that seems a little wild, and it is — until you take a look at their linebacker situation. The Seahawks were in pretty dire need of help due to injuries and poor play from their reserve linebackers in their Week 1 loss to the Denver Broncos. Kendricks is undeniably a talented player, and his sentencing isn’t until the end of January, so the Seahawks made the call to bring him in.

Seattle’s linebacker situation required they make a move

Linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright are currently struggling with injuries. Wright missed the Seahawks’ season opener against the Denver Broncos with a knee injury and Wagner recently popped up on the injury report with a groin issue. Both players missed their Monday night game against the Chicago Bears.

That left the Seahawks in a sticky situation, especially against a Bears team that loves to get their two backs (Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen) involved early and often in the gameplan.

If they didn’t make the move to sign Kendricks, they’d likely be stuck with a combination of rookie linebacker Shaquem Griffin and former undrafted free agent Austin Calitro getting a majority of the reps. Griffin was sent to the bench during their game against the Broncos because he was struggling mightily in pass coverage. Going into the game without a stopgap solution for their linebacker play wasn’t an option for them.

Kendricks’ mix of speed and blitzing ability fits perfectly with what the Seahawks like to do on defense, so schematically it made sense.

In his Seahawks debut, Kendricks backed that up, totaling three tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, and a pass defensed.

Mychal Kendricks is with the Seahawks on a temporary basis

Since Kendricks is being sentenced at the end of January for his involvement with insider trading, he could spend the entire regular season with them. He probably won’t, though. In fact, his time with the team is only on a week-to-week basis and they’ll wind up cutting him if need be.

Gregg Bell of the Seattle News Tribune laid out the situation succinctly.

“He is expected to sign what will amount to a week-to-week contract with Seattle for the remainder of this season, in time for him to play Monday night at Chicago, a league source told The News Tribune Thursday evening.

So essentially, a rental.”

Seattle is using Kendricks as a last-ditch effort to stop the bleeding from the Wright and Wagner injuries. He played well and will continue to be on the roster until either his NFL suspends him or the Seahawks move on.

How is Kendricks allowed to even play right now?

What’s next for Kendricks? Well, that one is pretty easy. Prison time, but not just yet. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Kendricks could be facing more than two years in prison once he’s sentenced.

The NFL says it is reviewing the matter:

For what it’s worth, the NFL does list “Crimes of dishonesty such as blackmail, extortion, fraud, money laundering, or racketeering” under actions that are considered “prohibited conduct” in its Personal Conduct Policy. So just because he hasn’t been suspended by the league yet doesn’t mean he won’t be.

Until the league determines if Kendricks’ actions violated NFL policy, he’s allowed to play, and should see a heavy workload. This situation with Kendricks isn’t something that we’ve seen before, but once you have all the background information, it makes sense that he’s allowed to play — for now.

Read more at SB Nation.

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