The Cleveland Browns have released linebacker Mychal Kendricks only hours after he was charged with securities fraud and intent to commit securities fraud.
Well that didn’t take long.
Less than 24 hours after being formally charged with securities fraud and intent to commit securities fraud, Pro Bowl linebacker Mychal Kendricks was released by the Cleveland Browns.
Kendricks apparently made the team aware of financial investigation but the team was unaware he was the target.
In a statement released by the team general manager John Dorsey had this to say:
"Recently, we were provided an update on the matter and the circumstances have changed. We are now dealing with a different set of facts and the additional information we’ve gathered has led us to the decision to release Mychal from our team. Due to the ongoing legal nature of this situation, we will have no further comments. – General Manager John Dorsey via ClevelandBrowns.com"
Some will question the timing of the release. After all, Kendricks has been neither indicted nor convicted at this time. According to a statement released by Kendricks, he has been cooperating with the investigation. However, it’s important to note that Kendricks did not disclose the fact that while he may perceive himself as the victim, he did not fully disclose his central role in the ongoing investigation. It is likely that had he disclosed that information the Browns would not have offered him the contract they did.
Others will say that this is consistent with an organization that is known for its inconsistency. They stand by Josh Gordon. They “punish” Antonio Callaway yet still give him the benefit of the doubt.
But this is not the same thing. Not even close.
In any other job, Kendricks would not have even made it to his desk. He would have been escorted from the building and had his personal belongings shipped to his home. He would have been fired. For cause. Immediately. Yes, he may not be convicted, but it won’t be a high standard for the Browns to make a case that Kendricks breached his contract.
For the Browns to keep Kendricks on the team would have been a distraction that carried into the season. Would he be suspended? Would he not be suspended? The Josh Gordon saga has largely made it to footnote status in the NFL reporting. This would be a distraction with a capital D. The Browns don’t need that. At least this way, it will be a story, but it won’t be the Browns story.
The thought that this was a Hue Jackson decision is laughable. The fact that John Dorsey made the decision is laudable. The reality that Mychal Kendricks knowingly put the Cleveland Browns in this situation is shameful.
The Cleveland Browns may miss his ability, but they cannot walk away from his culpability.