This is simple: If Troy Smith wants out, get him out

December 29, 2009 | Drew Forrester

So, the back-up wants to pack-up, huh?


Before I crush yesterday’s “Troy Smith wants a trade” announcement from his agent, Ralph Cindrich, let me first say this for the record:

It’s completely understandable that Troy Smith wants out of Baltimore.  He wants to be a starter in the NFL.  The money is better for starters.  The security is better for starters.  Starters get the pretty girls.  Back-ups get the rest of the lot.

Anyone worth their salt – as a professional athlete in any sport – wants to be a starter.

Troy Smith is never going to be a starter in Baltimore as long as Joe Flacco is here, and healthy.

He knows that.  So it’s perfectly reasonable for Smith to seek a trade to a team that will at least give him the chance to compete for a starting position in 2010.

This ISN’T a discussion about Troy Smith’s ability to start.  We all have our own opinion on whether or not he can be a successful starting QB in the league.  I don’t think he can, personally.

But it makes sense that Smith wants out of Baltimore.

What doesn’t make any sense at all is how Smith and his agent, Ralph Cindrich, decided on yesterday as the day to “tweet” his trade request to the masses.

Let’s figure out the “why” of how this happened.

Wait…why don’t we just call Ralph Cindrich and ask him to come on the air with me and allow him to give “Troy’s side of the story”.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Oh, that’s right, we did that yesterday.  Ralph said he’d rather not come on the air and discuss it.

He probably should have thought about that BEFORE the “trade me” tweet.

I’m going to *assume* that Troy Smith knew this was going down on Monday.  The reason I’m going to assume that is because agents and players are always conferring on some dramatic power-play to get the client more money and more leverage.

But I will say this, on Troy’s behalf:  If he was unaware of Cindrich’s Twitter-ploy on Monday, he (Smith) can be absolved from any blame as it relates to the timing and stupidity of the announcement that the quarterback wants out of Baltimore.

And if it did happen that way…if Cindrich did act on own his accord on Monday, Smith should immediately terminate him and send out his own tweet saying, “I’ve made the decision to no longer be represented by Ralph Cindrich.”

If Smith did that, I would have a huge amount of respect for him.

Because if Ralph Cindrich decided to pull that stunt yesterday without alerting his client, he deserves to get canned.

But the reality of the whole scenario is this:  Smith most likely knew what Cindrich was doing.  Smith most likely approved it.  Smith most likely wanted it that way.

That’s why he has to go.

I don’t know what the Ravens can get.  A Ravens source told me yesterday they’d probably get nothing more than a conditional 4th or 5th round pick for him.  He doesn’t have a body of work in the NFL.

But whatever they can get, they should get.

And Smith should get his wish.

Why on earth would a player on the team – regardless of stature, role or playing time – ask for a trade the week of the most important game of the year?

During a phone conversation with Glenn Clark on Monday, Cindrich asked, “So when IS the right time to ask for a trade?”

Umm, Ralph, how about AFTER the last game of the season?  It can be an hour after the last game, in fact.  But the season MUST come to an end first.

Maybe someone should let Ralph know that asking for a trade AFTER the trade deadline has passed in the current season isn’t going to get his client’s trade request accomplished any more quickly.

The team CAN’T trade Troy Smith right now.

Yes, I know, Ralph’s tweet said the trade request would be in effect “after the Ravens playoff and SB run”.

OK then, so if you’re aware (as I’m sure he is…he’s an agent) that your client can’t be traded right now and you make reference to seeking the deal AFTER the Ravens playoff and SB run”, why the hell would you make the public plea right now?

Why insult John Harbaugh and the rest of the coaching staff with a “me first”, self-created issue when they’re facing a do-or-die game in Oakland?

Much of the discussion this week – in the aftermath of the loss in Pittsburgh – has centered on the Ravens “lack of discipline” and players not conforming with the rules of the game.

One of the unwritten rules of the game is to put your team first, particularly when you’re trying to make it into the post-season.  Personal goals and dreams need to be put on the side when one game decides the fate of your team.

Smith violated that rule when he allowed his agent to ask for a trade yesterday.

That should be – barring an injury to Flacco against Oakland and/or in the post-season – Troy Smith’s final act as a member of the Ravens.

It’s a good thing he actually WANTS to be traded, because the Ravens should absolutely move him on now.

Well, they can’t move him on NOW…because the season is still going on and the trade deadline has already passed.

Someone should have reinforced that to Smith and his agent.

Their power-play-tweet on Monday was another example of a player who has this weird feeling that he’s bigger than the team and the other 52 players on the roster who are actually putting the organization’s effort to win above their effort to better themselves.

You try to improve your situation AFTER the season.

Any effort to strong-arm your team while the season is going on just shows you’re not part of the solution — you’re part of the problem.