Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Trouble always seems to find Browns

 What in the world is wrong with the Cleveland Browns in addition to playing the worst football in the National Football League for the last 19 seasons?

This is a franchise that can’t seem to get out of its own way. It is a magnet for trouble. It hovers like a perpetual black cloud over the team’s complex in Berea. Take the last few days, for example.

A 22-year-old woman accused a man of sexual assault early Saturday in the apartment of tight end David Njoku and wide receiver Rashard Higgins. Neither man was implicated in the assault.

Then early Wednesday came the news that linebacker Mychal Kendricks has been charged by federal authorities with participating four years ago in an illegal $1.2 million illegal insider trading scheme.

Kendricks, signed by the Browns as a free agent after spending six seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, immediately confessed he was part of the scheme along with several others and apologized.

He admitted he participated and that “I deeply regret it,” he said in a public statement. He went on to “accept full responsibility for my actions” and said he was “committed to repaying all of the funds gained illegally and accept the consequences of my actions.”

Maximum prison sentence for illegal insider trading is 20 years in prison and a criminal fine of $5 million, according to CBS Sports reports Kendricks is likely to serve 8-12 months in prison, according to David Weinstein, an attorney and legal analyst.

According to, the Browns said they were aware Kendricks was under federal investigation when they signed him but did not know the extent of it. They said they are in touch with the NFL and “will comment at the appropriate time.”

Kendricks, who has had a solid training camp and exhibition season, will not travel with the Browns to Detroit for Thursday’s night’s final game of the exhibition season.

How all this impacts his status with the Browns and possibly his career overall is unknown at this time. It is not certain under what league guidelines, if any, this falls.

This very possibly could be the first case of this nature the league has faced. The only assumption than can be made now because of the uniqueness of the case is the Browns will do whatever the league ultimately decides.

If Kendricks never plays again for the Browns, the club is still in good shape at the position, clearly the most solid unit on that side of the football. Kendricks’ presence made it that much stronger.

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