07-27-2001-UNKNOWN

7-27-01, 8:10 p.m.

BY GEOFF HOBSON

GEORGETOWN, Ky. _ The Bengals had hoped to strike a quick deal for Justin Smith when they offered him what amounts to a double signing bonus, but were chagrined when talks didn't progress Friday.

Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn spoke for about a half-hour with agent Jim Steiner, but she indicated other issues were now in the mix that stalled the talks.

"The thing we did get into was not even really a financial issue, per se, but I

don't want to get into the specifics," Blackburn said. "We didn't make as much progress as I thought we had made given the last proposal we made."

Steiner would only say, "There is nothing to report," as Smith, a defensive end from Missouri taken with the fourth pick, heads into the second week of his holdout.

The sides are reacting to the deal signed by the sixth pick, defensive tackle Richard Seymour, which not only has a split bonus for this year and next, but guaranteed salaries for the first three years.

The Bengals would no doubt want no part of any guarantees beyond the signing bonus and would most likely want to attach it to incentives or roster bonuses. The Bengals have said they've got more money on the table than Seymour got in New England and that Smith would get more in his first year than the $8.5 million Bengals' No. 1 pick Peter Warrick got last year in the fourth slot.

INJURY UPDATE: Out for the scrimmage are TE Marco Battaglia (knee), OT Freddie Moore (knee), WR Danny Farmer (hamstring), DL Kevin Henry (elbow), WR Ramondo North (teeth); Doubtful are WR Malcolm Johnson (knee), WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (hamstring); Questionables are WR Ron Dugans (hamstring), CB Rodney Heath (knee). DT Calvin Lewis (ankle) is probable.

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THIS AND THAT:**

Scott Mitchell, working with the No. 1 receivers, moved the club the longest in the first two-minute drill session of camp and capped it off with a touchdown pass to wide receiver Darnay Scott on a slant.

Offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski said it was "a little shaky. We let them

take some plays over, but it's going to be more important how we do it next week." . . .

Akili Smith continues to ice his throwing shoulder after practices. He says it's "a little sore," but is set for the scrimmage. . .FB Lorenzo Neal is a go with his broken hand. . .

Poor Scott Covington, the fourth quarterback in a three-way battle, took his first snaps in 11-on-11 Friday, the seventh day of camp. He completed two passes on his four snaps, but will get at least 10 snaps in the scrimmage.

"I'll be anxious to see what I can do," Covington said. . .

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