Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks apologized after being one of two men charged with insider trading by federal officials on Wednesday.
U.S. Attorney William McSwain announced the criminal charges for Kendricks, who said he accepts “full responsibility for my actions.”
Kendricks allegedly made a profit of nearly $1.2 million from investments tied to insider trading four years ago. Damilare Sonoiki, who is a television writer, also has been charged with assisting Kendricks.
“I would like to apologize,” the 27-year-old Kendricks said in a statement released by his attorneys. “Four years ago, I participated in insider trading, and I deeply regret it. I invested money with a former friend of mine who I thought I could trust and who I greatly admired. His background as a Harvard graduate and an employee of Goldman Sachs gave me a false sense of confidence.
“To this point, I had worked my tail off since I was 5 years old to become a football player. I was drawn in by the allure of being more than just a football player. 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.”
The Browns released a statement saying Kendricks will not join the team in Detroit for Thursday’s preseason game against the Lions. The Browns also said they have been in “communication with the league office as we gather more information.”
Kendricks’ attorney told Philly.com that his client is expected to formally plead guilty in the coming weeks.
While it’s not clear what punishment he’ll face from the government, Kendricks would be subject to discipline under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Kendricks spent his first six seasons with the Eagles before being released by Philadelphia in May. He signed a one-year deal with the Browns the following month.
“I sincerely apologize to my coaches, the owners, and my teammates on the Eagles and the Browns, the NFL, and the magnificent fans to whom I owe my career,” the 5-foot-11, 240-pound Kendricks said in the statement. “I also apologize to my family, who I have failed in this. You all deserve better, and I will work my hardest to re-earn your trust and respect, serve as an advocate to educate others, and show you that I will never be involved in anything like this again.”
Kendricks recorded 77 tackles, 2.0 sacks and six pass breakups in 15 games last season for the Eagles. He has collected 459 tackles, 14 sacks and three interceptions in 85 career contests since being selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft.