LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The standoff between the Chicago Bears and linebacker Roquan Smith over contract negotiations took another turn Monday when the NFL Board of Directors sent a memo to all 32 teams saying that an NFLPA non-certified agent had been called contacted the clubs on behalf of the 2018 first round selection.
According to an ESPN copy of the memo, the board was notified by the NFL Players Association that “a person named Saint Omni, who is not an NFLPA-certified agent, is reaching out to clubs and stating that he represents Roquan Smith, who is with the Chicago Bears is under contract.”
The memo reads: “Mr. Omni is prohibited from negotiating player contracts or discussing potential business on behalf of any NFL player or prospective player, or assisting or advising in such negotiations.”
On Tuesday, Smith released a statement through NFL Media, saying he had requested a trade after failing to work out a contract extension with the Bears. The linebacker said the Chicago offer “would be bad for me 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, saying the front office made an offer with “record-breaking pieces.”
Smith is not registered as a client of an NFLPA-certified agent.
The linebacker was not seen in practice Monday. After reporting to training camp in a timely manner, Smith was placed on the PUP list for the first 12 practice sessions. He passed a physical and was activated from the PUP list on Wednesday, but did not attend practice or the Bears’ preseason win over Kansas City the following day, although he attended both.
The management council memo referenced Article 48 of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, which says player contracts may only be negotiated with the player when 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 may negotiate or discuss a potential trade with a player signed to another club, or his certified agent, without direct written authorization of the player’s employer club.”