The story behind the story. We already know that Baltimore Ravens free agent quarterback Lamar Jackson is not represented by an agent.
At the very least, the former NFL MVP is not represented by an NFLPA-certified agent. This situation is now back in the news again weeks after Baltimore placed the dreaded franchise tag on its star quarterback.
The NFLPA sent a note to the NFL recently indicating that a non-certified agent by the name of Ken Francis may be contacting teams and attempting to persuade them to negotiate a contract with Jackson.
“The NFLPA has informed us that a person by the name of Ken Francis, who is not an NFLPA certified agent, may be contacting Clubs and attempting to persuade Club personnel to enter into negotiations with or concerning Lamar Jackson, who is currently under a Nonexclusive Franchise Tender with the Baltimore Ravens.
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.”NFL memo to teams pertaining to Lamar Jackson
Any team negotiating with Francis on behalf of Jackson would be fined $54,409.00 and subject to other penalties under the current collective bargaining agreement.
For his part, Jackson took to social media to deny that Francis is negotiating for him. This was in response to a report from NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero indicating that Francis, a Florida native, is contacting teams.
Related: Everything you need to know about the Lamar Jackson contract situation
Lamar Jackson contract situation takes a turn
It’s not yet known whether Jackson is directing Francis to negotiate with teams. That would change the narrative big time relating to the embattled free agent quarterback.
Dating back to the pre-draft process back in 2018, Jackson opting to represent himself has been a major story behind the scenes around the NFL.
Sportsnaut’s NFL insider Benjamin Allbright just recently penned a long-form piece on it, citing people close to the league. Some believe that Jackson would already have signed a lucrative long-term contract with Baltimore had he been represented by a certified agent.
As it stands right now, Jackson and the Ravens remain at odds. They’ve dealt with an impasse in contract talks for more than a calendar year. Things have now gotten to the point that Jackson is said to be done with the Ravens.
Lamar Jackson stats: 63.7% completion, 12,209 passing yards, 4,437 rushing yards, 125 total TD, 38 INT, 96.7 QB rating
Teams are able to negotiate a contract with Jackson despite the quarterback having the aforementioned franchise tag on him. If he signs an offer sheet, Baltimore can match it. Should the team opt not to do that, it would then receive first-round picks in the 2023 and 2024 NFL Drafts as compensation.
As of right now, no team has had official talks with Jackson. That could very well change as the process plays out.
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