Another development in the irritatingly and seemingly never-ending saga that has become the contract situation of Baltimore Ravens’ nonexclusively franchise-tagged quarterback Lamar Jackson transpired on Thursday, March 23, 2023.
In a memo that NFL Network’s Tom Pelisserro posted on Twitter, the NFL Management Council issued a warning to every team in the league that they may be contacted by a man named Ken Francis who they claim is an uncertified NFLPA agent/representative on Jackson’s behalf. They claim that he’d attempt to spark or engage in negotiations and if so, they are prohibited from having those discussions with him.
“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. “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.”
This latest development came just days after Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio first reported that a representative of Jackson’s who was not certified by the NFLPA had contacted multiple teams on his behalf and that the former unanimous league MVP is “ready to move on from the Ravens”.
Jackson Quickly Claps Back to Call Report False
The two-time Pro Bowler didn’t waste any time when it came to refuting and denying any involvement of Francis in his ongoing negotiations with the Ravens or any other prospective teams that might want to inquire about acquiring his services in a post on Twitter.
“Stop Lying that man never tried to negotiate for me,” he wrote in the post.
Both Jackson and Peliserro said that Francis is a business partner of his who also happens to be from Florida and is the creator of an all-inclusive piece of fitness equipment called ‘The Entire Gym’ of which he is an investor.
The 26-year-old was clearly and understandably frustrated with all the reports, memos, and negative publicity he has been garnering this week and in another Twitter post, expressed the importance of “mental health awareness” and quoted the phrase “It’s Ok not to be ok”.
Under the nonexclusive franchise, Jackson is free to negotiate with another team in an attempt to work towards an offer sheet that the Ravens will have the right to match. However, without a certified agent by the NFLPA, he is the only one allowed to do so, and not anyone from his camp that is in an advisory role or that he is in any other kind of business partnership with.
Francis Also Denies Report of Involvement in Negotiations
The aforementioned ‘Florida man’ in question was contacted by ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler who also refuted the claims and denied that he has attempted to reach out to any teams on Jackson’s behalf.
“I don’t speak for Lamar,” Francis said.
Per Jamison Hensley of ESPN, “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.”
In an effort to further express that the relationship between the two is strictly related to their own individual business dealings, Jackson posted a commercial starring himself in which is advertising the mobile gym equipment that will be available for purchase this summer.
While Francis is the first of Jackson’s current and future business partners who may come under some public scrutiny, he might not be the last. Until he signed to a long-term deal with the Ravens or another team, it will only continue to be a controversial topic that will be followed with a magnifying glass by every major sports outlet that covers the league.