LAKE FOREST, Illinois — The standoff between the Chicago Bears and linebacker Roquan Smith over contract negotiations took another turn on Monday when the NFL governing council sent a memo to all 32 teams stating that a non-NFLPA-certified agent has contacted clubs on behalf of the first round harvest 2018.
According to a copy of the memo obtained by ESPN, the board of directors has been informed by the NFL Players Association “that a person named Saint Omni, who is not an NFLPA certified agent, is contacting clubs indicating that he represents Roquan Smith.” , who is under contract with the Chicago Bears.”
The memo states that “Mr. Omni may not negotiate player contracts or discuss potential transactions on behalf of any NFL player or prospective player, or assist in or advise on such negotiations.”
On Tuesday, Smith released a statement via NFL Media stating that he had applied for a deal after failing to work out a contract extension with the Bears. The linebacker said the Chicago offer “would only be for myself and for the entire LB market if I signed it.”
That same day, Bears general manager Ryan Poles reiterated his desire to make a deal with Smith, saying the front office had made an offer containing “record-setting pieces.”
Smith is not registered as a customer of an NFLPA certified agent.
The linebacker was not seen at practice on Monday. After reporting to training camp on time, Smith was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list for the first 12 workouts. He passed a physical and was activated from the PUP list on Wednesday, but did not participate in training or in the Bears’ win over Kansas City the following day, despite attending both.
The board’s memo referenced Section 48 of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, which states that player contracts may only be entered into with the player, acting on his own behalf, or with his NFLPA certified agent.
The memo ended with a reminder of the league’s anti-tampering policy, stating that “no club may negotiate with a player under contract to another club, or with its certified agent, or to discuss a potential transaction without the direct written consent of the player’s employer’s club.”