Mychal Kendricks’ admission of insider trading puts NFL in an awkward spot

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With Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks admitting to insider trading and planning to plead guilty to it, many assume that the NFL will find a way to keep Kendricks off the field until he’s sentenced. And the Commissioner Exempt List provides cover for putting a player on paid leave, keeping him off the field, keeping him paid, and neutralizing a potential P.R. problem.

But there’s a practical problem in this specific case. The Commissioner Exempt List applies to crimes of violence, not financial crimes. For insider trading, the league has no instantly-available procedure for yanking a player away from the fray while still paying him, until the criminal process and/or the league’s internal procedures have resolved.

Sure, the league can try to strong-arm Kendricks into voluntarily taking paid leave, perhaps with the not-so-subtle suggestion that he can either be paid to not play or not be paid to not play. But would the Browns, owned by a truck-stop mogul whose company defrauded customers and paid millions to resolve the situation, get sanctimonious when it comes to a low-level insider trading caper with no real victim?

The league also could expedite the investigative and disciplinary process under the Personal Conduct Policy, but it would be impossible to get it all done (and to have all appeals resolved) before the Browns begin their regular season.

All in all, it’s a very, very strange spot for the league, the Browns, and Kendricks. As the player awaits eventual sentencing, there’s nothing that keeps him from playing other than the league’s oft-cockeyed concerns with public relations. Maybe Kendricks isn’t a big enough player and the Browns aren’t a big enough team to cause the NFL to fracture a rule or two in order to find a way to keep Kendricks from playing.

36 responses to “Mychal Kendricks’ admission of insider trading puts NFL in an awkward spot

  1. How does it put the NFL in a bad position ,the man owned up to his mistake I find it very noble ,now your putting players in a damned if you do damned if you don’t ,I think Mychal is reserved to the fact that football is secondary once he threw himself at the mercy of the court , the NFL should stop playing the victim here the man ,manned up !

  2. Not sure it is necessary they do. I mean due process still exists, and yes I do appreciate that he manned up. But there is no reason to expedite justice when to be honest, the Federal government is going to expedite that on their own. Whatever happens happens. Sucks he did it. But let’s be honest, this really is a largely victimless crime. What is it like…40% of America participates in the market, insider trading rarely affects those 40%. Not saying “do it” but he didn’t hit anyone, didn’t kill anyone, didn’t rape anyone. And crimes much worse than this are committed in government every day.

  3. It puts them in a far less awkward spot than Eli Manning did with his fake “game worn” memorabilia and Eli got no punishment at all. Thus, by Goodell’s logic, that probably means a lifetime ban for Kendricks.

  4. Wow. Someone admitted to doing wrong? Why keep him off the field. I would think he is just the man we need running the NFL – honest and forthright? We should be celebrating someone who tells the truth (even on bad things); this guy gets my immediate respect. Not condoning what he did, but condoning his assumption of personal responsibility.

    Perhaps the Bearded Woman Beater in Dallas could learn a few lessons on what it means to be a man standing on his own two feet accepting responsibility for his actions!

  5. It’s simple. He has pleaded to committing a crime, no investigation needed. “Its bad for the shield” – 3-4 game suspension. Heck guys have been suspended when not even charged with a crime.

  6. If he’s convicted, his punishment should be that he play for Cleveland for the rest of his career, although that may be a bit harsh.

  7. pooflingingmonkey says:
    August 29, 2018 at 2:50 pm
    If he’s convicted, his punishment should be that he play for Cleveland for the rest of his career, although that may be a bit harsh.

    ———————-

    Well, if you’ve been watching Hard Knocks, you’d see that the Browns have already implemented a similar punishment. Forcing their rookie to play as a punishment for not telling them about his run-in with the law. They understand the shame that comes from putting that jersey on in front of people.

  8. I’m going to go out on a limb here: expect a period of inaction punctuated by an unusually-timed decision by the Goodell Regime that leaves us wondering what are they thinking.

  9. How about seeing what the legal penalty is. If he misses the season by being in prison is that sufficient?

    How about punks who beat the hell out of their wives and get suspended 6 games but don’t do jail time.
    Should Kendricks be punished worse than them?

  10. Re Carrol Prescott says:
    “Why keep him off the field, I would think he is just the man we need running the NFL, honest and forthright”

    If he was honest he wouldn’t be linked to insider trading…

  11. The answer is pretty simple….the NFL just convinces the Browns to cut Kendricks…or they decide to do it on their own. No other team would dare sign him with these charges hanging over his head (not to mention the league’s wrath if they signed him).

  12. Sit him out, UNpaid, as a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy 1-4 games. No investigation needed, as he’s already admitted publicly to the crime.

  13. If they are offering you paid leave, take it man. You are about to go to federal prison (it’s happening, the fed’s conviction rate on financial crimes would make communist governments blush), take the time and spend it with your family.

    You don’t have to obviously, but if you don’t, you’ll wish you did

  14. SO he’s pleading guilty, not wasting the courts time, resources or money, made no money off it, yet is willing to pay it all back.

    I’m in for a 2 year probation and restitution.

  15. The other nuance is that this isn’t a criminal charge but rather a civil one filled by the SEC, not a US Attorney. I think the Browns’ owner is in a more perilous legal position.

  16. Actually, the 2 highest levels of those employed at the IRS are ALLOWED to do insider trading. Think about THAT. There are a bunch of civil servant multi millionaires out there who harass YOU for not deducting your mileage correctly.

    Look it up. I was shocked when I found out.

    Insider trading has been rampant from the beginning of public offerings and yes, the Feds get who they want and have no parole. 4 years is 4 years etc.

  17. Carroll Prescott says:

    August 29, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Wow. Someone admitted to doing wrong? Why keep him off the field. I would think he is just the man we need running the NFL – honest and forthright? We should be celebrating someone who tells the truth (even on bad things); this guy gets my immediate respect. Not condoning what he did, but condoning his assumption of personal responsibility.

    _____________________

    To me he’s taking responsibility “NOW” in order to secure a plea deal, not because he just want to be openly honest about it and face whatever consequences. Because no lawyer would allow their client especially in a federal investigation to openly admit guilt, if it wasn’t in the best interest of their client.

  18. So, what yer saying is he should go out and commit a violent crime so the League can justify paying him to sit out?

  19. If committing a federal crime isn’t “conduct detrimental to the league” then what is? I’m amazed by the number of people here who are willing to look the other way and say this is a “victimless crime” and therefore, so what? Insider trading is not victimless, but it is a crime. And he profited big time.

    Who raised you people?!!! What’s gotten into your head?

    You complain when people do something that’s legal (respectfully taking a knee during the anthem), but don’t care when someone violates federal law. No wonder Trump thinks he can get away with shooting someone in the middle of 5th Avenue.

  20. I work in house counsel for a bank.

    Kendricks is a criminal and deserves to go to jail period. He’s only “manning up” because he got caught.

    Read the SEC complaint before you break your arm patting him on the back. He knew what he was doing was wrong. Normal investors get screwed all the time because of the shenanigans he pulled. He deserves jail time.

  21. Yet another example of an entitled and pampered NFLPA player breaking the law.
    The NFL didn’t break the laws, a PLAYER did.
    Who’s responsible…NOT the NFL.

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