NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday afternoon that free agent linebacker Mychal Kendricks would sign a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns. Soon after,’s Mary Kay Cabot confirmed the news, saying Kendricks would sign his deal Monday after visiting the Browns on Friday. Finally, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press added a third affirmative report, saying the former member of the Philadelphia Eagles’ linebacking corps had finalized the deal Sunday and chose the Browns over the Vikings, a team featuring Eric Kendricks, Mychal’s brother.

So that’s three independently verified reports, all saying the same thing. Yet when Tomasson asked Mychal Kendricks about the news, he didn’t exactly get confirmation.

Kendricks also took aim at Rapoport, who got this ball rolling:

At exactly the same time, Kendricks’s agent told Yahoo’s Jordan Schultz that, while a deal with the Browns might be close, it’s not done quite yet.

Finally, Kendricks pulled out the fake-news card when asked for comment by Derrick Gunn of NBC Sports Philadelphia:

Should it happen, the Browns would be getting the NFL’s ninth-ranked linebacker, according to Pro Football Focus. Kendricks, a six-year veteran, started 13 games for the Eagles last season during their run to the Super Bowl, finishing second on the team with 77 tackles. But tension apparently lingered from a 2016 season in which he started only eight games for new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, leading Kendricks to ask for a trade. Philadelphia finally cut him May 22 with two years left on his contract; Kendricks said the team asked him to take a pay cut, which he declined.

“I kind of understood the situation,” he told the Pioneer Press. “It’s something that I’ve been asking for. … I didn’t ask to be released, but I asked for a trade a year prior to this. So, yeah, I’m trying to be in a situation where I can play a big role and really contribute.”

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