The Cincinnati Bengals’ first-round pick, offensive tackle Andre Smith, is changing agents again. SI.com’s Jim Trotter reports that Smith has terminated his contract with Priority Sports.
Smith signed with Priority just prior to the draft after firing agent Alvin Keels. Keels was widely blamed for Smith’s train wreck at the combine.
Update: Per NFL.com’s Steve Wyche and Muckraker Mike, Smith will apparently be re-hiring Keels.
Go figure, eh?
Update 2: Joe Reedy exchanges e-mails with Keels, who says he has not been re-hired by Smith. Of course, by rule a player has to wait five days after firing an agent to hire a new one, so Keels could be back in the Smith saddle by the end of the weekend. Keels is “excited” by the prospect.
“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. However, reports are premature and I have not yet been retained. Guess we all just have to wait and see.”
Update 3: Sources tell Muckraker Mike that this whole chain events was planned from the start. They allege that Smith fired Keels with every intention of re-hiring him after the draft.
The theory here is that, by firing Keels and hiring the more established Rick Smith of Priority Sports, Andre Smith proved to the teams interested in selecting him that the former Alabama standout was finally beginning to “get it.”
Keels denies the allegation. It does sound plausible, though.