8-19-01, 11:45 a.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
Jim Steiner, the agent for Bengals' first-round pick Justin Smith, visited Sunday morning with team officials in a bid to end a holdout that is now in its 30th day.
Steiner met with Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn and the club's director of business development, Troy Blackburn, at Paul Brown Stadium.
Steiner met at PBS with Troy Blackburn on another Sunday back in March, when
a late-night session couldn't land a deal for quarterback Elvis Grbac before the free-agent joined the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens.
The sides looked to be preparing for a long session this Sunday when they ordered in lunch to the deserted stadium offices. The Bengals were in the last day of their weekend break from their training-camp bye and resume practice at Georgetown College Monday. They break camp Friday for Saturday's pre-season opener at PBS against the Bills.
Whether Smith is with them is another question. It's believed the concept of guaranteed money and what milestones trigger Smith's escalators in the six-year deal are as much at issue as the dollars.