A man named Ken Francis "may be contacting clubs" in an effort "to enter into negotiations with or concerning" Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is currently under a nonexclusive franchise tender, the National Football League said in a memo sent to all 32 teams on Thursday (March 23), which was obtained and shared by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
"Source: NFL sent a memo to all clubs letting them know that the NFLPA informed the league that a person by the name of Ken Francis, who is not an NFLPA certified agent, may be contacting teams and attempting to persuade team personnel to enter into negotiations with Lamar Jackson," Schefter tweeted.
Jackson could negotiate with any NFL team as part of the nonexclusive franchise tender -- which the Ravens would have the option to match or receive trade compensation -- but would only be permitted to use an agent certified by the NFLPA in adherence with league rules.
The league that Francis is as "an uncertified person" and, therefore, "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."
"Clubs are reminded that, under Article 48 of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, an Offer Sheet, which may result in an NFL Player Contract, may only be negotiated with the player, if he is acting on his own behalf, or with the player's NFLPA certified agent. To be clear, Mr. Jackson is not currently represented by an NFLPA certified agent," the league wrote. "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."
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero said Francis is "is a Florida man who most recently was pitching a home fitness invention, I'm told."
"He now is trying to negotiate a nine-figure contract with NFL teams, who are being told they’re not allowed to negotiate with him because he’s not a certified agent," Pelissero added.
Jackson, a former NFL MVP and Rookie of the Year, led Baltimore to an 8-4 record, which included throwing for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions on 203 of 326 passing, while also recording a team best 764 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns on 112 attempts, prior to suffering a season-ending PCL injury. The Ravens ranked ninth among all 32 NFL teams with an average of 23.1 points per game during Jackson's 12 starts, but dropped to 13.0 points per game, the second fewest in the league, while going 2-3 in his absence during their final five games of the regular-season.
The Ravens reportedly offered Jackson a rejected deal worth $113 million in guarantees that would have "eventually raised" to a total of $113 million, a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN's Ryan Clark in January.