While Mychal Kendricks' legal fate won't be decided until his sentencing on federal insider trading charges, his status with the NFL is finally clear.
Let's take a closer look at the situation, including what's next for Kendricks and the Seahawks and how things got to this point.
How did Kendricks get into trouble in the first place?
It all started at a party in late 2013. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission complaint, that's when Kendricks, then in his second season with the Philadelphia Eagles, met Damilare Sonoiki, a Goldman Sachs investment banking analyst from Harvard. From July 2014 through November 2014, the SEC alleges, Sonoiki illegally fed Kendricks information about corporate acquisitions that his bank was advising before those deals were publicly announced. According to the complaint, Sonoki's tips helped Kendricks make about $1.2 million in illegal profits by purchasing securities in four companies that were about to be acquired: Compuware Corporation; Move Inc.; Sapient Corporation; and Oplink Communications Inc.
According to ESPN's Eagles reporter Tim McManus, Kendricks spoke around the time of the alleged trades about wanting to be as successful of a businessman as he was an athlete, dreaming aloud of starting a company and owning a helicopter to fly in and out of the city as he pleased.
After the charges were announced, Kendricks said in a statement that he was "drawn in by the allure of being more than just a football player" and that Sonoiki's Harvard education and his employment at Goldman Sachs gave Kendricks a "false sense of confidence."
"While I didn't fully understand all of the details of the illegal trades, I knew it was wrong, and I wholeheartedly regret my actions," Kendricks said, adding that while he didn't take any of the profits for himself, he would repay what was illegally gained.
Kendricks pleaded guilty in September, a week before signing with Seattle, and is scheduled to be sentenced in January.
What kind of prison time is he facing?
One source familiar with the situation said Kendricks could be facing 30 to 37 months in prison -- as has been reported -- based on federal guidelines and the amount of money involved. It's possible that Kendricks' contrition and transparency will help him. According to McManus, a financial adviser to the stars said of Kendricks: "He's going to pay a penalty. He may or may not get time if he cooperated and told the truth. You don't always go to jail for insider trading. You go to jail for lying to the authorities."
What will Kendricks' role be when he returns?
As of now, he's slated to be a backup. The Seahawks signed Kendricks when K.J. Wright was still recovering from knee surgery, but Wright is back at weakside linebacker after making his season debut Sunday in Detroit. The Seahawks are set at their other two linebacker spots with All-Pro Bobby Wagner in the middle and Barkevious Mingo on the strong side. But the Seahawks will be happy to have Kendricks back for the final four games even if it's as a backup and special teamer. Keep this in mind, too: Kendricks is an excellent blitzer. In fact, he had two sacks in three games with Seattle and 14 sacks over his first six seasons. So perhaps the Seahawks can find a role for him in their linebacker rotation that utilizes that skill-set.
How much will this suspension cost Kendricks?
It'll end up costing him more than $400,000. He signed a one-year deal worth $743,530, the prorated amount of a $790,000 minimum salary. That equates to weekly game checks worth $46,470 apiece. Kendricks' suspension will have lasted eight games plus Seattle's bye week. Players get paid on their bye weeks. So he will have missed out on nine paychecks at $46,470, or $418,230 in all.
What will he do before he can come back?
Kendricks is eligible to resume practice with the Seahawks in Week 12. The team can receive an exemption that will allow Kendricks to practice for the two weeks before he's eligible to play without counting against the 53-man roster. But Kendricks is not allowed to be at the Seahawks' facility until Week 12, so he must train on his own in the meantime.