Offensive tackle Andre Smith may not fire Priority Sports and revert to his original agent, Alvin Keels, as widely reported late yesterday, after the Cincinnati Bengals expressed concern over the move.
Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson reports that the team has issues with the decision to fire Priority’s Rick Smith
The source indicated the Bengals have concerns with the decision to fire Rick Smith, a member of the Priority Sports agency that has represented a variety of former Bengals such as Levi Jones, Bryan Robinson and Tory James. After it drafted Andre Smith, the club indicated that Smith’s decision to hire Priority had been part of the decision-making process.
Cincinnati Enquirer Bengals beat writer Joe Reedy adds that Priority Sports had not received a termination letter as of early this morning.
This game of musical chairs would seem to support last evening’s anonymously sourced reports on PFT that the whole “switch back to Keels” bit was planned in advance of the draft, and that Smith simply used Priority to buff his damaged image. Of course, it could also be the case that the initial reports from SI.com were in error, though there was enough secondary confirmation by other media to make that appear unlikely. There was definitely fire, not just smoke, here.
In any event, it would be difficult for me to view a re-hiring of Keels as a positive development, given that the Bengals would apparently prefer to deal with Priority.