Browns marred by off-field troubles

Linebacker Mychal Kendricks charged with insider trading

Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons | The Browns look to move past the Mychal Hendricks incident and focus on the season with defensive end Myles Garrett as a core team leader.

The Cleveland Browns released linebacker Mychal Kendricks before he played a regular season game. Kendricks, a Super Bowl Champion with the Philadelphia Eagles last season, was arrested last week on charges of insider trading.

In the scheme, Kendricks accrued $1.2 million in 2014 after bartering information with an ex-Goldman Sachs analyst in exchange for free Eagles tickets.
Kendricks was cut by the Eagles after Philadelphia’s championship season last year, reportedly to clear cap space.

However, John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported that the Eagles were aware that Kendricks was under federal investigation before his release.

Kendricks signed a one-year contract worth $1.72 million with the Browns in June 2018.
Kendricks publicly apologized and acknowledged his actions. If found guilty, he could face an expected eight to 12 months in prison.

This preseason, the Browns have been the subject of the HBO Hard Knocks series. Each season, Hard Knocks follows one NFL team through training camp and the preseason, noting the all-star caliber players and the long shot rookies vying for roster spots.

In the fourth episode, filmed just days before his arrest, Kendricks supplied a scouting report on the Eagles as the Browns prepared to go up against his former team in the preseason. He appeared to take some verbal jabs at his ex-teammates.
Before his time in Philadelphia, Kendricks was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the year during his senior season at the University of California.

Kendricks was drafted by Philadelphia in the 2nd Round of the 2012 NFL Draft and played six seasons with the Eagles before being released.

In recent seasons, the Browns have struggled both on and off the field.
Since Hue Jackson took over as head coach in 2016, the Browns have posted a record of 1-31.

Off the field, Cleveland has been dealing with the seemingly never-ending Josh Gordon saga, Corey Coleman begging to be traded and now the Kendricks incident.

The Browns have made strides to improve their personnel with the additions of quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and former Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield as well as leadership from Myles Garrett and Pro Bowl wideout Jarvis Landry.

With the release of Kendricks, the jobs of Jackson, General Manager John Dorsey and the rest of the Browns front office just got easier when finalizing the 53-man roster this week, with the regular season around the corner.

The Browns won their final preseason game against the Detroit Lions by a score of 35-17 last Thursday, the same day that Kendricks was charged.

The Browns will open the regular season on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.

Though the Browns cut their losses with Kendricks, the 27-year-old could still find his way onto an NFL roster after completing a potential prison sentence.

By: Michael Rauber | Guest Writer