(670 The Score) The contract impasse between Bears linebacker Roquan Smith and the organization took another bizarre twist Monday.
After reports surfaced late last week that an individual who claimed to represent Smith was contacting other NFL teams on his behalf, the NFL Management Council on Monday confirmed that was indeed true in a memo to organizations warning them of that outreach, Courtney Cronin of ESPN reported. An identity was attached to the individual too, with the NFL Players Association telling the Management Council that “a person by the name of Saint Omni” is the one contacting teams. He isn’t a certified agent, though several articles suggest he's a business manager of sorts for NFL players.
“Mr. Omni is prohibited from negotiating player contracts or discussing potential trades on behalf of any NFL players or prospective player or assisting in or advising with respect to such negotiations,” the Management Council wrote, according to ESPN.
Smith is seeking a long-term contract extension from the Bears, but negotiations are at a standstill lately after he demanded a trade out of Chicago last Tuesday. In a statement, he expressed his belief that the Bears weren’t negotiating in good faith and that they didn’t value him. Smith doesn't have an agent, choosing instead to negotiate on his own.
Smith is in the final season of his rookie contract and set to make just shy of $9.4 million in 2022. He continues to conduct a contract hold-in, reporting to Halas Hall daily and joining the Bears for meetings and off-field work but refusing to participate in practice on the field. He also sat out of Chicago's preseason opener Saturday.