LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The standoff between the Chicago Bears and linebacker Roquan Smith over contract negotiations took another turn Monday when the NFL management council sent a memo to all 32 teams stating that a non-NFLPA-certified agent has been contacting clubs on behalf of the 2018 first-round pick.
According to a copy of the memo obtained by ESPN, the management council was informed by the NFL Players Association “that a person by the name of Saint Omni, who is not an NFLPA certified agent, is contacting clubs indicating that he is representing Roquan Smith, who is under contract to the Chicago Bears.”
The memo states that “Mr. Omni is prohibited from negotiating 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.”
On Tuesday, Smith released a statement via NFL Media stating that he had requested a trade after failing to work out a contract extension with the Bears. The linebacker said the offer extended from Chicago “is one that would be bad for myself, and for the entire LB market if I signed it.”
That same day, Bears general manager Ryan Poles reiterated his desire to work out a deal with Smith and said the front office had bestowed an offer with “record-setting pieces.”
Smith is not registered as a client of any NFLPA-certified agent.
The linebacker was not seen at practice Monday. After reporting to training camp on time, Smith was put on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list for the first 12 practices. He passed a physical and was activated from the PUP list Wednesday but did not participate in practice the following day or in the Bears’ preseason win over Kansas City despite being present at both.
The management council’s memo referenced Article 48 of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, which states that player contracts are to be negotiated only with the player, if he is acting on his own behalf, or with his NFLPA-certified agent.
The memo ended with a reminder of the league’s anti-tampering policy, which states that “no club is permitted to negotiate with a player under contract to another club, or with his certified agent, or to discuss a potential trade without the direct written permission of the player’s employer club.”