Well, that was short and sweet. Yet another dodgy human being was taken on as a free agent this preseason by the Cleveland Browns and now that person has had to be released due to illegal activities that would have meant yet more distractions in and around the organisation. I’m starting to wonder if the Browns will ever allow themselves to become a respected franchise again.

After a couple of seasons of asking to be traded by the Philadelphia Eagles, Mychal Kendricks became a free agent and the Browns picked him up to add more quality to a thin looking linebacker unit. He played in the first three preseason games and, to me, looked great and set to have a good 2018 season.

For once there aren’t drugs or other illegal substances involved in the incident but instead, we have insider trading. I’m not sure I understand Kendricks’ motivation for getting involved in such a thing as he’s earned $21 million playing football and the insider trading thing is reported to have earned him somewhere around the $1.2 million mark. He’s said to have paid out $10,000 and Eagles game tickets in return for the insider information he used to profit. Such a dumbass move considering the maximum term you can serve in prison for this kind of thing is 20 years. That’s a possible 20 years behind bars for doing something illegal that didn’t earn you anywhere near as much as your day job…DURRR!

For whatever reason, it’s been guessed at that he won’t spend anywhere near that length of time behind bars but could instead spend around 8-12 months there. Whether it’s because of who he is or due to the amount involved, I have no idea but I doubt he’ll get more than that 12 months if any time at all.

So, Who Benefits?

The first name that springs to mind is Jamie Collins. If you’ve read any of my other posts you’ll know that I’m not a fan of this guy at all, so perhaps I’m allowing myself to look silly here because of that.

Even though I would have loved to have seen Collins traded already, I’m not sure he actually has much value on the trade block. If little old me sitting here in little old Blighty can get an impression that he’s not that interested in playing football and is just going through the motions to secure as much of the money his big bucks contract promises him, then I’m sure other teams might get that feeling also.

Anyway, regardless of whether he was ever being shopped around or not, I imagine this Kendricks move just solidifies Collins’ spot on the roster and as a starter for 2018 (for however long he lasts). It means he can carry on doing just enough to keep his job and getting paid his big money for another season in Cleveland.

This move to release Mychal Kendricks also frees up around $1.7 million in cap space and opens up a spot on the roster as cut day quickly approaches. Of the 9 linebackers currently listed on the roster, I can see 5 as definites to make the roster (Collins, Kirksey, Schobert, Avery and Burgess) which, for me, means there could be one spot left to be filled by either Bello, Currie, Sheldon or Grace. I imagine, if the team goes with 6+ at the position, it’ll be BJ Bello that gets the spot.

Or maybe the team is planning on running with more Nickel packages this season (please let it be so) and therefore use the new roster spot on another defensive back? Personally, I’d love to see more 2 LB sets with the SS up in the box as well. I think Jabrill Peppers is perfect for this role and I hope to see this more going forward. 3-3-5 with Avery as the third LB but playing from his 2-point DE position and Peppers up in the box…yes, please. Avery and Garrett collapsing pockets all season long, *drooling*.

Kendricks Statement

Mychal Kendricks' Statement with Regards to Insider Trading

That first paragraph doesn’t sit well with me. He knew it was wrong but he had full confidence in his friend and thought he could trust him. That says to me that he knew it was wrong but thought his friend knew what he was doing and Kendricks could trust him not to get them caught.

Sounds to me that the only thing he’s sorry about is the fact that he’s been caught and could likely be charged and, maybe, spend time behind bars.

Maybe I’m wrong but that’s exactly what it looks like to me!

What Now?

Although I liked the way Mychal Kendricks was playing this preseason and was, in fact, one of our best linebackers, I’m not too bothered that he’s been released by the team. It was the right thing to do as they are already taking enough risks on a couple/few players and can be doing without any more distractions.

We still have a strong unit on defence and with the cut season about to start, in which the Browns have the first refusal on players, there could very well be someone of interest available very soon.

Title image credit: Yong Kim