With news emerging of a non-certified representative contacting multiple teams on behalf of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, there’s an unresolved question regarding the new deal recently done by the Texans and tackle Laremy Tunsil.
Last year, the NFL specifically instructed teams not to negotiate with Saint Omni on behalf of Bears linebacker Roquan Smith, at a time when Omni was allegedly contacting teams in an effort to instigate a trade. Omni has been linked in the past to Tunsil. And Omni personally announced the Tunsil deal, disclosing it to NFL Media.
Said Tunsil on Twitter of Saint Omni, “He was with me every step of the way!”
We’ve sent three emails to the NFL asking whether the Texans will be investigated for possibly negotiating directly with Saint Omni. The NFL has not responded.
For most, it’s a non-issue. For the people who negotiate NFL contracts for a living, it’s a major concern. As one NFLPA-certified agent explained it, why are they paying annual fees, buying malpractice insurance, attending an annual meeting with the union, and otherwise complying with all NFLPA rules and regulations if there’s a simple way to circumvent the process?
Here’s how simple it is. Players create email addresses for trading proposals. And the non-certified agent then receives, reviews, and responds to the messages, pretending to be the player.
If the NFL is interested in ensuring that the relevant terms of the CBA are being respected, it shouldn’t be difficult to piece together the manner in which the negotiations occurred. It shouldn’t be difficult to explore the origins of specific emails. IP addresses, and whatnot.
It’s a rabbit hole that can be easily explored. The question is whether the NFL wants to explore it, either as to Tunsil, Jackson, or any other supposedly self-represented player who may secretly have representation.
You know what motivates players unlike anything else? Simply being in a contract year.
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