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Woodson Wooed by Puff Daddy, Smith

March 6, 1998

What do Puff Daddy, Johnnie Cochran Jr., and football agent Lamont Smith have in common?

Answer: Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson.

The trio of wildly divergent figures from the fields of entertainment, law and sports are attempting to form a group that will represent Woodson, a likely top five NFL draft pick and the first primarily defensive player to win the Heisman.

``We’ve had discussions with Puffy about him getting involved with us,″ Smith, who along with Cochran recently formed All-Pro Sports and Entertainment International, said Thursday night. ``Then Johnny and Puffy talked at the Soul Train Music Awards (Feb. 27) and I don’t know what came of it.″

What could come of it is one of the more extraordinary teams of contract negotiators the NFL has ever seen.

Although Woodson hasn’t officially announced his agent, or the group that will represent him, talk in the agent community is he’s already decided on Sean ``Puffy Daddy″ Combs, who recently won two Grammys for best rap album (``No Way Out″) and best rap performance by a duo or group for ``I’ll Be Missing You.″

According to several agents, Puff Daddy was recently certified by the NFL Player’s Association, while Smith, based in Denver, represents Detroit Lions star Barry Sanders, Tennessee’s Eddie George, Pittsburgh’s Jerome Bettis and a few dozen other NFL players.

Cochran, O.J. Simpson’s attorney who also assisted NBA player Latrell Sprewell in his dispute with the NBA, entered the sports agent business last summer when he was certified by the National Basketball Players Association.

Smith said he hasn’t spoken with Woodson in the past few days, but the last he heard, ``Charles was still sorting everything out.″

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