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Smith Stays With Buffalo Bills

October 10, 2000

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Running back Antowain Smith didn’t get his wish as he remained a member of the Buffalo Bills after the NFL trading deadline passed on Tuesday.

A Bills spokesman said no deals had been made when the 4 p.m. deadline expired.

Smith, benched for the last two games, reportedly asked to be traded after losing his starter’s job.

``We’re trying to get Antowain traded,″ Smith’s agent, Scott Casterline, said, according to Tuesday’s The Buffalo News.

``Antowain has been patient and has never complained in his career. He played hurt on a painful turf toe last year. He needs to be traded.″

Casterline and Smith could not be reached for comment.

After speaking with coach Wade Phillips, Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said: ``We’re not going to comment on it. We’re not even going to confirm that that is even true.″

Casterline said Bills general manager John Butler and Phillips did not keep a promise to use Smith as the Bills’ featured back.

``Wade and John told me he was the go-to guy, their franchise back. I feel like I was lied to,″ Casterline said.

Smith, who has a year left on his contract, was Buffalo’s first-round draft pick in 1997. He led Buffalo in rushing with 1,124 yards in 1998, but has struggled since.

After managing just 614 yards last year while nursing a toe injury, Smith opened this season coming off a sore knee he injured in preseason.

In three games, Smith rushed for 72 yards on 34 carries before being replaced by Jonathan Linton.

Through five games, quarterback Rob Johnson is the Bills’ top rusher with 194 yards, while Linton has managed 69 yards on 20 carries in two games. Shawn Bryson is second on the team with 134 yards on 50 carries.

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