Chick Ludwig writes that it would be a shock, if Andre Smith "surfaces at Georgetown College". We're not talking about a 2-3 day holdout; the Chickster is talking about missing all of training camp. When the Bengals drafted Smith, he was represented by Rick Smith to presumably improve his stock during the NFL Draft after severely declining during a series of misguided choices in which people rose more red flags than the Red army. So the rookie offensive tackle figured that Rick Smith will help his stock, hired him, drafted by the Bengals sixth overall, then fired Rick Smith and re-hired Alvin Keels.
The issue here is that the Bengals reportedly favored Rick Smith. Once Smith was fired, a statement was released by Priority Sports (where Rick Smith works):
“In regards to Andre Smith, we are moving forward and devoting all of our attention on the high character, hard working and honest clients of Priority Sports.
“We were asked to come in at the last minute to provide credibility to his draft status and we succeeded in that task. Soon after the draft, Andre Smith became a tremendous distraction to our company. What we have subsequently determined is that Andre Smith does not match the culture of Priority Sports and the character of the clients we take so much pride in representing.
“This will be our final statement on this matter.”
Aside from the obvious, we wondered what missing training camp would do to Andre Smith.
It's been noted several times that Smith tends to have an immaturity side to him, needing a strong authority figure to keep him focused. If negotiations go deep into training camp, how likely is it that Smith will be working out on his own?
I believe it's a certainty that Smith misses, at least, a portion of training camp. It's not just because of Smith, his agent, or the team. Slots have to be filled and agents and teams are more willing to watch slots around their pick/client to fill, hoping to maximize/minimize the contract. As it stands, only two players drafted in the first round have signed NFL contracts. Both are quarterbacks that are competing for their team's respective starting job. If there is a positive in the optimistic thinking that Smith signs before training camp, it's that Mark Sanchez has already signed, filling the slot on top of Smith. Other than that, the Chickster could be more right than wrong on this one.