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Smith Disappointed in Buffalo

October 11, 2000

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) _ What’s clear is that Buffalo running back Antowain Smith is disappointed the Bills didn’t grant his trade wish.

And then the confusion begins.

News of Smith’s trade request arose Tuesday when agent Scott Casterline told The Buffalo News that he was trying to get Smith dealt before that day’s NFL trading deadline.

The trouble is, as Smith pointed out after practice Wednesday, is that he fired Casterline about six months ago and is now represented by Herb Rudolph.

Smith, however, didn’t hang around long enough to explain why Casterline might have been speaking for him.

Casterline, meanwhile, has been unavailable for comment to everyone but The Buffalo News, which quoted him again as Smith’s agent in a story in Wednesday’s editions.

Which brings us to Wednesday afternoon and Smith’s disappointment of still being in Buffalo, the team’s former starting running back who has been benched for the last two games.

``It (the trade) didn’t happen for me. I would like to be somewhere where I get an opportunity to get out and play,″ Smith said. ``But I’m here now and I’ve just got to make the best of it.″

Asked if he’s damaged his relationship with the team, Smith said: ``If you felt like you should be playing and not getting a chance to play, if you want to be mad at me about that, you can do that. But I felt that was my right to have a chance to ask for (a trade) if you’re not going to play me.″

After answering five questions, Smith abruptly walked away from a group of reporters.

Smith was replaced by Jonathan Linton prior to Buffalo’s fourth game of the season. Smith, who in 1998 led the team with 1,124 yards rushing, managed just 614 yards last year and had just 72 yards on 34 carries this year.

Bills coach Wade Phillips said he’s not upset with Smith.

``I think he’s ready to play and he wants to play,″ Phillips said, adding that the Bills did not make any attempt to deal Smith. ``He’s got a lot of pride and I think if he gets the opportunity, he’ll do well.″

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