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Teams who received Okung email have obligation to alert Seahawks

Russell Okung

Russell Okung


Russell Okung the agent already is screwing things up for his only client.

Okung’s decision to send an email to all teams alerting them to the fact the he will be healthy in June after shoulder surgery doesn’t constitute tampering. However, the anti-tampering policy prevents any team that received the message from engaging with him. It also mandates that any team who received it immediately alert the Seahawks.

Here’s what the policy says: “If a club is contacted by a player (or his representative) who is under contract to or whose negotiating rights are held by another club, and such player had not been given permission to deal with other clubs, or such player is not in a permissible negotiating period under the terms of an operative collective bargaining agreement, then the contacted club is prohibited from talking or otherwise dealing with the player or his representative, and the contacted club must immediately report such contact to the owner or operating head of the club which holds the player’s rights.”

Unless the Seahawks authorized Okung to communicate with other teams (and if they did his email blast likely would have said so), no one can respond to the email without violating the rules.

Here’s where having an agent would have helped Okung get his message across without creating a potential mess for the teams involved. An agent could have called each of the teams and verbally communicated the information with no paper trail. The teams, as a practical matter, could have responded. While it would have violated the rules technically, there would have been no way to prove it.

Moreover, these communications happen regarding impending free agents all the time. It used to hit the boiling point at the Scouting Combine. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, it’s already happening at the practices preceding the Senior Bowl.

From Okung’s perspective, he definitely got his message across. But now every team that received the email has an obligation to send the email back to the Seahawks with an explanation that they received the email from Okung.