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Priority Sports Mulling Action Against Keels

Although the folks at Priority Sports have said all that they plan to say about former client Andre Smith, the sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft, there’s talk that Priority Sports still might have more to say about Smith’s “new” agent, Alvin Keels.
We’re told that Priority Sports is mulling the filing of a complaint against Keels for violation of the NFLPA’s regulations rearding contract advisors.
At this point, the specific claims, if any are made, aren’t clear.  Agents are prohibited from initiating contact with a player who is a party to a Standard Representation Agreement with another agent.  But contact is permitted if initiated by the player.
In this case, Andre Smith fired Priority Sports, and shortly thereafter Keels was candid about the fact that he was “in a heated battle right now to win [Smith's] business back.”  Some think that, during the five-day mandatory waiting period after an agent has been fired, no other agent may have contact with the player, even if initiated by the player.  Others believe that contact during the five-day period is permitted, if initiated by the player.  Though the regulations are silent on this specific point, Section 12 of the Standard Representation Agreement states that the contract remains in place until five days after written termination is given.  This implies to us that contact during the five-day period is permitted, if initiated by the player.
Either way, it arguably wasn’t prudent for Keels to announce to the world (via Twitter) that he was “in a heated battle” to “win [Smith's] business back.”
Complicating the present situation is the rumor/theory/belief that Smith fired Keels prior to the draft with the intent of hiring Priority Sports and then firing Priority Sports after the draft and re-hiring Keels.
So apart from whether Keels violated the rules regarding contact with a player who is being represented by another agent, Priority Sports could argue that  Keels engineered the kind of scheme that the rules generally prohibit.
Section 14 of the regulations regarding Prohibited Conduct states that agents are forbidden from “[e]ngaging in unlawful conduct and/or conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or other activity which reflects adversely on his/her fitness as a Contract Advisor or jeopardizes his/her effective representation of NFL players.”
It remains to be seen whether and to what extent Priority Sports is willing to push this issue.  Based on the tone and content of the statement that the agency issued regarding Smith, it wouldn’t surprise us if Priority Sports decides to pursue the matter aggressively.

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7 Responses to “Priority Sports Mulling Action Against Keels”
  1. footballfan09 says: May 24, 2009 1:59 PM

    I am more interested in the stupidty of Andre Smith. Why in the heck would you re-hire an agent who put you in a bad situation before the draft? Does he not realize that Keels is a moron and will probably mess something else up in the future.

  2. BuckFutter says: May 24, 2009 2:32 PM

    It would be kind of interesting if Keels realized that his representation of Smith would jeopardize his draft standing. Kind of takes a lot of self-awareness to say “People hate me.”
    And if all this is true, it’s not hard to see why teams wouldn’t want to draft a player represented by such a sleazebag.

  3. LiveNBreath Football says: May 24, 2009 2:34 PM

    Priority Sports would be smarter to just drop it. All they do is look like whiners. They are mad they got played. Chalk it up as a “learning experience” and move on.

  4. Insomniac says: May 24, 2009 2:44 PM

    How would Keels be informed that Smith terminated Priority Sports? Is the intent of the 5 day period to allow the terminated representative 5 days to get their client back or to prevent the player from being hasty? Seems like it would be better for it to be the latter. It allows everyone to make a pitch, but the player can’t decide for 5 days.
    On a side note, they should use a similar method that blocks all draft eligible players from signing with an agent until January 31. Then it would allow all agents to make their pitch and increase the risk to agents who make wink-knod agreements that theose players could sign elsewhere later.

  5. voyager6 says: May 24, 2009 3:19 PM

    Can’t wait until this hits the courts and there is an injunction against Smith signing a contract until compensation to Priority Sports is determined by a jury.
    As I said before, this could result in Cincinnati unable to sign Smith before the end of the season and Smith would be draft eligible again next year. I am sure that the Bengals would join Priority in a damages case for losing Smith for a year and the #6 pick. I would expect the Bengals’ to claim at least 9 figure damages.

  6. footballfan09 says: May 24, 2009 6:04 PM

    voyager6,
    Good point but don’t you think that the Bengals deserve anything that happens to them by even drafting that tool of a player? Smith is a huge waste of time with his immaturity. They would have been better off to just pass on the pick rather than waste it on me.

  7. devilzadvocate says: May 24, 2009 6:18 PM

    I think it is time for Keels to issue a statement to the public directed at damage control to the way his relationship with Smith is presently perceived. It couldn’t get much worse than it presently is, barring a lengthy holdout.

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