The Seahawks apparently will have to wait even longer to find out about the status of linebacker Mychal Kendricks for the 2019 season.
Court records for U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania show that a scheduled sentencing hearing for April 4 was cancelled on Monday. Instead, a hearing for a status conference is set for that day at 2 p.m. local time. This is the second time Kendricks’ sentencing has been pushed back — it was initially set for January.
Damilare Sonoiki, who was an accomplice in the case with Kendricks and also pleaded guilty, is scheduled for a sentencing in mid-July, and it’s possible Kendricks’ case may also not be resolved until then.
In either case, what is key for the Seahawks is that they know something one way or the other by the time training camp rolls around in late July. That the team signed Kendricks to a one-year deal earlier this month indicates the team is confident he will be available to play.
Kendricks played for the Eagles from 2012-17 before signing with the Browns last year. He was released by Cleveland after the plea and then signed with the Seahawks in mid-September to help fill the void created by an injury to K.J. Wright.
Kendricks signed a one-year deal worth up to $4.5 million. But while there appears to be optimism that Kendricks will be available to play, the team covered its bases as the contract included no money guaranteed at signing — a rarity in the NFL — with Kendricks having to be available to play to earn any money (for instance, he gets a $250,000 bonus for reporting to camp with a total of $2.5 million tied up in bonuses for being available to play in games).
Seattle also re-signed Wright to a two-year deal, meaning it has its top two weakside linebackers from last season each under contract for the 2019 season.
How the Seahawks will use each player if each is available is a question coach Pete Carroll figures to get asked on Tuesday when NFC coaches meet the media here.
But signing both was also Seattle’s way of making sure it had someone available at the spot, which turned into a merry-go-round last season when Wright suffered a knee injury in the preseason that required surgery and ultimately limited him to five games. Kendricks also played three games, then served an eight-game NFL suspension for the insider trading charge. He then returned for one game and suffered a knee injury that ended his season.
However, the injury isn’t expected to impact his availability for the 2019 season.
Seattle also made a qualifying offer to Austin Calitro, who also filled in at weakside linebacker last season when neither Wright nor Kendricks was available, as well as Shaquem Griffin, who started the season opener last year after Wright was injured and before the team signed Kendricks.