The National Football League (NFL) has issued a stern warning to all its clubs regarding Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s contract negotiations. According to a memo distributed to all 32 teams and obtained by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, an uncertified person, Ken Francis, might be persuading team personnel to enter into contract negotiations with Jackson, who has received the nonexclusive franchise tag.
Under league rules, teams can only negotiate with Jackson as he doesn’t have an agent. The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) informed the league that Francis, who is not a certified agent with the players’ union, may be contacting teams regarding Jackson.
“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,” the memo read.
To avoid any violation, the memo reminded teams that an offer sheet may only be negotiated with the player if he is acting on his behalf or with a certified agent. The NFL can fine teams $47,000 if a club negotiates a contract with an agent or representative not verified by the NFLPA. Moreover, violating this rule may result in the disapproval of any offer sheet or resulting player contract entered into by Mr. Jackson and the new club.
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, and if he signs an offer sheet, Baltimore will have five days to match it, or it will receive two first-round draft picks as compensation. If there is no offer sheet, Jackson would earn $32.416 million under the tag.