NFL Gets Involved in Roquan Smith Drama, Name of LB’s Mystery Advocate Revealed

Roquan Smith

Getty Roquan Smith of the Chicago Bears was on the field prior to the preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Soldier Field on August 13, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

What began as a stalemate in contract negotiations between linebacker Roquan Smith and the Chicago Bears has turned into a bizarre situation in which the NFL has now gotten involved.

Things between the Bears and Smith have gotten increasingly complicated since the inside linebacker requested a trade publicly on August 9. While Bears general manager Ryan Poles has said multiple times his aim is to re-sign Smith, the 25-year-old inside linebacker still isn’t practicing and is subject to fines from the organization for every practice and game he misses.

The drama took a turn when NFL insider Mike Florio reported on August 12 that a mystery person — not an NFLPA certified agent or Smith himself — had been calling other NFL teams in order to gauge any potential interest in trading for the young LB. We now know who that was, and the league has issued a warning about him.

In a memo sent by the NFL Management Council to all 32 teams, the league’s tampering rules were re-stated and reinforced, and the person said to be calling other teams on behalf of Smith was revealed: Saint Omni.

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Memo Referenced Smith & Bears Situation Directly

Part of the memo was shared on Twitter by NFL insider Aaron Wilson, who also detailed its contents in his August 15 column for Pro Football Network.

“A person by the name of Saint Omni, who is not an NFLPA certified agent, is contacting clubs indicating that he is representing Roquan Smith, who is under contract to the Chicago Bears,” the memo read. “Mr. Omni is prohibited from negotiating 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.”

According to a November 2021 article by Complex, Omni serves as director of football at LifeLine Financial Group and he has assisted other players, like Houston Texans’ offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil, with getting their contract extensions. Still, he’s not an agent that has been certified by the NFL Players Association, and thus, any team caught negotiating with him will be hit with a fine for tampering.

“Unless a prospective club has received written permission from the employer club, entering into discussions with a player or his agent concerning your club’s interest in acquiring the player via trade or otherwise is a violation of the Anti-Tampering Policy,” the memo states.

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Mess With Omni Isn’t Helping Smith’s Case

Smith wants to be paid amongst the league’s best linebackers, but he won’t be able to go about getting a hefty new contract going through a third party.

As the memo states, “player contracts may only be negotiated with the player, if he is acting on his own behalf, or with the player’s NFLPA certified agent.”

Smith is under contract for the upcoming season, and it’s possible the Bears could even slap the franchise tag on him next year instead of extending him. He has very little leverage, and it might be best for him to finally get an agent if he wants to get a deal done.

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