The Lamar Jackson saga took a strange turn with the NFL warning teams about negotiating with a non-NFLPA certified agent named Ken Francis.
Who the heck is Ken Francis?
That’s the question Ravens fans and apparently NFL teams have been asking recently.
The NFL Management Council had to warn teams about the man who has apparently been trying to negotiate a deal for Lamar Jackson behind the scenes.
The league sent out a memo on Thursday telling teams that Francis “may be contacting Clubs and attempting to persuade Club personnel to enter into negotiations with or concerning Lamar Jackson.”
However, because Francis is not an NFLPA certified agent, he is “prohibited from negotiating Offer Sheets or Player Contracts, or discussing potential trades on behalf of any NFL player.”
Lamar Jackson famously doesn’t have an agent. So who is Ken Francis?
Lamar Jackson news: Who is Ken Francis?
Tom Pelissero has come the closest to giving us the answer calling Francis, “a Florida man who most recently was pitching a home fitness invention.”
Leave it to Florida Man to provide the latest twist in this strange contract saga.
Of course, the answer to the queston of whether or not Francis is actually representing Jackson appears to be a no.
Jackson tweeted shortly after this news broke that Francis is not negotiating on his behalf.
So there’s that.
The NFL went so far as to send a league-wide memo to address contact between teams and Ken Francis. But Jackson claims he’s not negotiating on his behalf. So on whose behalf is Francis calling up teams?
UPDATE: ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler got a hold of Francis, who denies trying to negotiate for Jackson.
“I don’t speak for Lamar,” Francis told Fowler, denying he’s contacted teams on behalf of the quarterback.
According to Francis, “he’s business partners with Jackson on portable gym equipment and that’s the extent of their business dealings.”
So how did Francis’ name get pulled into all of this? Who knows. It’s all a mess.
UPDATE No. 2: Did the NFL just get taken for a viral marketing opportunity?
Or did Jackson and Francis decide to take advantage of the hubbub with a perfectly-timed merch drop?