RENTON, Wash. — Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the team did all of the research it could before signing linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who is facing potential prison time and league discipline after he pleaded guilty last week to insider trading charges.
“We had done a lot of homework on it,” Carroll said Saturday while speaking with reporters for the first time since Kendricks was signed earlier in the week. “It happened four and a half years ago, so it’s a story that’s been worked on for a long time. There’s a lot of good information. We’ve come to learn who he is and what he’s all about and how remorseful he was and how he admitted to his mistake a long time ago — he paid the money back, he did all of the right things along the way. The process continues, but we just checked everything we could possibly check out, and he’s a guy that deserves a second chance.”
Kendricks is getting one while he awaits his legal fate. A sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 24. As for the possibility of an NFL suspension in the meantime, Carroll said the Seahawks have been in communication with the league but “there’s nothing that we can really report on it. We have to respect the process right now and just wait it out.”
Kendricks said he doesn’t know what the NFL will do, either.
“As of right now, I have an opportunity, and I want to make the most of that,” he said.
Carroll confirmed that Kendricks will play Monday night against the Chicago Bears, though he wouldn’t say where. Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (groin) and weakside linebacker K.J. Wright (knee) have been ruled out. Kendricks was primarily a weakside linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles and also played inside linebacker when they ran a 3-4 defense.
“Comfortable wherever they need me,” he said.
Kendricks signed with the Cleveland Browns this offseason after his release by the Eagles. He said other teams expressed interest but that he didn’t know if he would play again this season after the Browns released him last month in the wake of his charges.
“It’s been pretty hard,” he said of the past week or so. “It’s been very hard. But I’ll overcome this just like I’ve overcome other obstacles in my life. But like I said, I’m very blessed to have this opportunity, so I treat it as such. But football is helping me a lot.”
Kendricks took part in Friday’s practice as well as the walk-through the Seahawks held before departing for Chicago on Saturday. He said he’s as ready as he can be after only two days and added that there’s plenty of carryover from Philadelphia’s defense to Seattle’s.
“The background that he has and the instincts that he has, he’s been coached really well over the years — he really has a chance to pick it up really quickly and get in there and help us,” Carroll said. “He had three really good days and studied like crazy with the coaches. He’s ready to help us out.”
Kendricks, who played at Cal and was drafted in the second round in 2012, was asked how he has been embraced since arriving in Seattle.
“Everyone’s real cool,” he said. “It’s definitely a West Coast vibe here. I was on the East Coast for the past [six years]. Everyone here is really, really kind, including the people of Seattle and Washington. Everyone’s been so kind, so people are embracing me with open arms and it feels good.”