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Keels claims Bengals think the “ship has sailed” on slotting

As the impasse between the Bengals and tackle Andre Smith continues, it’s looking like the sixth overall pick and the team won’t be coming to an agreement in the near future.

On his Twitter page, agent Alvin Keels claims that Bengals owner Mike Brown has no intention of respecting the quasi-formal ritual of the slotting process.

“Leaving Cinci,” Keels posted shortly after 8:00 p.m. ET on his Twitter page. “Not any closer on a deal for Andre Smith. Mike Brown says ‘the ship has sailed on the slotting system.’”

Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Keels left the Queen City after four hours of face-to-face meetings with Brown and Katie Blackburn yielded no progress.

Though it’s Brown’s prerogative (misguided as it might be) to ignore a system to which every other franchise adheres, the notion that “the ship has sailed” is disingenuous.

The ship is still tied to the dock.

With the exception of the 49ers, every other franchise has applied the slotting system with respect to this year’s first-round picks. As to the 49ers, the inability to sign receiver Michael Crabtree arises from agent Eugene Parker’s attempt to treat the slotting system as a boat bound for Blingland.

Look, if the Bengals didn’t want to pay the kind of contract that the sixth overall pick in the draft now commands, the Bengals should have traded out of the slot or passed on the pick.

Even better, they shouldn’t have been the sixth worst team in the league last season.