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News » Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-05-15

Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-05-15

Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-05-15
Who is Andre Smith's agent? It will either be current agent Rick Smith or his original agent Alvin Keels.

On Sunday, the Bengals' first-round pick filed a termination letter with the NFL Players Association to fire Rick Smith. Priority Sports said they had not received a termination letter. Any time a player changes agents, there is an NFLPA mandated five-day waiting period before he signs with a new agent.

Things got even more muddled on Wednesday. Early in the day it appeared as if Andre Smith would remain with Rick Smith, who he hired on April 22.

"Unfortunately this was never a story. Nothing's changed," Rick Smith said Wednesday morning. "I'm looking forward to moving ahead and continuing the journey with Andre."

But as the day went on, things became more uncertain.

"How about this Andre Smith story?" Keels wrote on his Twitter page. "I'm in a heated battle right now to win his business back. We are in the bottom of the 9th. Root me on!"

If Andre Smith wanted to rescind that letter, all he would have to do is call the NFLPA offices in Washington. The union still has not received that call or any letter to rescind the termination.

After the Keels Twitter post was made, Rick Smith declined comment. Andre Smith is in Atlanta until organized team activities begin Tuesday and was not available for comment.

With multiple reports and speculation the past two days, this much is clear -- Andre Smith was ready to fire Rick Smith and go back to Keels before he reconsidered Tuesday night. He is still debating that.

Keels was first hired by Smith on Feb. 12, which was a week before the scouting combine. Smith did not work out at the combine and left unannounced, for which Keels shouldered the blame. Keels remained the agent until April 12, when he was fired.

Keels also did not return calls after he made the Twitter post, but did say in an e-mail Tuesday night: "After the 5 days is up, if I am re-hired I would be excited to go to work for Andre and negotiate a good deal with Cincy."

Whoever ends up negotiating Smith's contract, they will have a large ballpark to work from. Last year's sixth overall pick, the Jets' Vernon Gholston, received a five-year deal worth $50 million with $21 million guaranteed. The second offensive lineman drafted last year, Denver's Ryan Clady also got a five-year deal which was worth $17.5 million with $11.5 million guaranteed. Clady was selected 11th overall.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 15, 2009

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