The Seahawks had expressed confidence all along that linebacker Mychal Kendricks would be available for the entire 2019 season despite a pending sentencing for his involvement in an insider-trading case.
And now, with word Monday that Kendricks’ sentencing has been postponed until February, there is no longer any reason for concern for this season.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll confirmed during his meeting with the media following practice Monday that Kendricks’ sentencing will not be held until after the season.
“I’m really happy for him that he has that peace of mind as he works through the season,” Carroll said. “There’s nothing done, and I have no statement about any of it or what it means. I know just for him, it gives him the peace of mind for this football season and he can really stay focused. He’s done a marvelous job under the circumstances and I’m real happy for him.”
The Super Bowl is Feb. 2, so no matter how long the season goes, Kendricks will be available.
The sentencing has been postponed five times. No reason was given, but the defendant, prosecution or court can request postponement.
A co-defendant in the case with Kendricks, Damilare Sonoiki, reportedly was sentenced to three years of probation.
Kendricks is scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court’s Eastern District of Pennsylvania — the offense occurred when Kendricks played for the Eagles. That would have happened this week, a few days ahead of a return to Philadelphia for Kendricks for the Seahawks’ game against the Eagles on Sunday, if not for the postponement.
Kendricks was an Eagles second-round draft choice in 2012 and played for Philadelphia until 2017. He had signed with the Cleveland Browns and was then released when he pleaded guilty to insider trading. Seattle signed him as a free agent in September 2018.
The Seahawks re-signed Kendricks in March to a one-year deal worth up to $4.5 million. It included heavy incentives for being available to play. Specifically, Kendricks received a $2 million non-guaranteed base salary, up to $1 million in separate playing-time incentives, and then bonuses of $250,000 for being able to report to training camp and another $250,000 when he was on the roster Week 1, and then $125,000 for each game he is active.
Kendricks has been active for all 10 games so far and appears on track to earn all of his contract’s $4.5 million base value.
Kendricks has started all 10 games at strongside linebacker, is tied for third on the team in tackles with 49 and has played 504 snaps, almost 74%, sixth on the team among defensive players. The Seahawks are often leaving him on the field in obvious passing situations instead of subbing him out for a nickel back.
He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and Seattle will have a decision to make then as it has rookie Cody Barton waiting in the wings to step into a starting spot and Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright each under contract for at least one more season.