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Keels Tweets that he'll meet with Katie Blackburn and Bengals front office on Thursday

Sure. The Bengals are heading to New England (actually they're already there) for a preseason Thursday night game. I suppose that's important. However, it won't be the only running storyline for tomorrow.

Andre Smith's agent Alvin Keels tweets: "spoke with Katie today and i am thinking that i am going to sneak into Cincy after the game 2mrw sit down with ownership. Wish me luck!"

The story is the same. The Bengals offered $28 million (maximum value of $33 million) for five years. That's far less than Darrius Heyward-Bey received (seventh overall pick this year) and what Vernon Gholston received as the 2008 sixth round pick. What could Keels possibly say to convince the Bengals front office to get Andre Smith into the picture?

There is a more optimistic view on this. The meet could be perceived as the first step to get Smith signed. If Keels is making the trip, then maybe both sides can get something worked out while Keels is in Cincinnati. What other reason would he have for flying into Cincinnati? Well, other than our awesome food.

Whichever way you look at this, the Bengals are coming off worse in this; because, simply put, they're going against the slotting system that's been established for years now. The issue isn't whether the slotting system and rookie pay is ridiculous; because it really is. The issue is going against it, and by in large, not bringing in the guy that's expected to solidify an offensive line that rated as the worst unit in football last year.