Chicago Bears rookie Gervon Dexter Sr. has taken legal action in an attempt to avoid paying fines of over $1 million for violating an NIL (name, image, likeness) deal.
According to Keith Brockway of The Gainesville Sun, Dexter, who played college football for the Florida Gators, has filed a lawsuit to nullify the NIL deal he signed with a Delaware-based company.
Dexter’s attorneys argue that the contract is invalid due to several issues, including a violation of Florida’s NIL laws. The deal, signed with Big League Advance Fund II LLC, required Dexter to forfeit 15 percent of his future NFL earnings for the next 25 years. Dexter’s attorneys claim that the contract extended beyond his student-athlete eligibility and that the agents representing Big League Advance Fund were not licensed in Florida. Additionally, the company failed to provide notice to Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin within 72 hours of the agreement, another violation of state NIL law.
According to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, Dexter would owe approximately $1 million to Big League Advanced Fund. He signed a rookie deal with the Bears worth $6.72 million.
In 2021, the NCAA changed its policies to allow college athletes to profit from NIL deals. This change came after years of criticism towards the NCAA for not allowing athletes to earn money while schools made millions from their athletic programs.
Gervon Dexter Sr., standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 312 pounds, was drafted by the Bears in the second round (53rd overall) in April. During his final year in college football, he recorded two sacks, one interception, and one pass defensed.
The upcoming season for Dexter and the Bears will begin with a home game against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field this Sunday.