Who is Ken Francis?
A Florida man was named in a memo sent by the NFL to its 32 teams warning not to negotiate with "an uncertified person" in relation to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson's non-exclusive franchise tender in adherence with league rules. Shortly after, Jackson shared a post teasing the launch of "The Entire Gym," which is a home fitness company apparently owned by Francis, who the quarterback referred to as "my business partner."
"My Business Partner Ken and I will be dropping @theentiregym this summer 🚀🚀🚀❤️ #STAYTUNED #TRUZZ," Jackson wrote.
The former NFL MVP also denied the league's accusation that Francis had attempted to "enter into negotiations with or concerning" him.
"Stop Lying that man never tried to negotiate for me," Jackson tweeted.
The memo, which was obtained and shared by ESPN's Adam Schefter, warned NFL teams that Francis, who is not certified by the NFLPA, was "prohibited from negotiating Offer Sheets or 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."
"Clubs are reminded that, under Article 48 of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, an Offer Sheet, which may result in an NFL Player Contract, may only be negotiated with the player, if he is acting on his own behalf, or with the player's NFLPA certified agent. To be clear, Mr. Jackson is not currently represented by an NFLPA certified agent," the league wrote. "Violation of this rule may result in disapproval of any Offer Sheet or resulting Player Contract entered into by Mr. Jackson and the new Club."
Jackson, a former NFL MVP and Rookie of the Year, led Baltimore to an 8-4 record, which included throwing for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions on 203 of 326 passing, while also recording a team best 764 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns on 112 attempts, prior to suffering a season-ending PCL injury. The Ravens ranked ninth among all 32 NFL teams with an average of 23.1 points per game during Jackson's 12 starts, but dropped to 13.0 points per game, the second fewest in the league, while going 2-3 in his absence during their final five games of the regular-season.
The Ravens reportedly offered Jackson a rejected deal worth $113 million in guarantees that would have "eventually raised" to a total of $113 million, a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN's Ryan Clark in January.