OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The NFL sent out a memo to all clubs on Thursday notifying them that a person who is not certified by the NFLPA may be attempting to persuade team personnel to enter into contract negotiations with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who received the nonexclusive franchise tag.
Under league rules, teams can only speak with Jackson because he doesn’t have an agent.
According to the memo obtained by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFLPA informed the league that Ken Francis, who is not a certified agent with the players union, may be contacting teams regarding Jackson.
The memo distributed to all teams read: “As an uncertified person, Mr. Francis is prohibited from negotiating Offer Sheets or Player Contracts, or discussing potential trades on behalf of any NFL player or prospective player or assisting in or advising with respect to such negotiations.”
Francis told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that he has not contacted teams on Jackson’s behalf.
‘I don’t speak for Lamar,’ Francis said.
Jackson also denied that Francis has been contacting teams on his behalf, tweeting: “Stop Lying that man never tried to negotiate for me.”
Francis said he’s business partners with Jackson on portable gym equipment and that’s the extent of their business dealings. He stressed that Jackson handles his own football matters, though he has people in his circle that he might consult.
The memo reminded teams that an offer sheet may only be negotiated with the player, if he is acting on his own behalf, or with a certified agent.
“To be clear, Mr. Jackson is not currently represented by an NFLPA certified agent, the memo read. “Violation of this rule may result in disapproval of any Offer Sheet or resulting Player Contract entered into by Mr. Jackson and the new Club.”
The NFL can fine teams $47,000 if a club negotiates a contract with an agent or representative not verified by the NFLPA.
This is the second time in seven months that the league has had to address this matter. Last August, the NFL management council sent a memo to all 32 teams about speaking with a non-NFLPA-certified agent that had been contacting clubs on behalf of linebacker Roquan Smith when he was with the Chicago Bears. Smith was traded to the Ravens last season and negotiated a five-year extension with Baltimore in January.
On March 7, the Ravens placed the nonexclusive franchise tag on Jackson after the sides were unable to reach a new deal after 25 months of negotiations.
Under the nonexclusive tag, Jackson can negotiate with other teams. If he signs an offer sheet, Baltimore has five days to match or receive two first-round picks as compensation.
If there is no offer sheet, Jackson would earn $32.416 million under the tag.