Falcons running back Antone Smith hires new agent with contract up

Atlanta Falcons running back Antone Smith, in the last year of his contract, has hired Atlanta-based agent Todd France, according to NFLPA records.

Smith fired his previous agent, Terry Watson, after Watson was charged with 13 count of providing illegal benefits to North Carolina football players.

France, the full owner of Five Star Athlete Management after new Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula divested his interest in the firm, also represents Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas. One of France's marquee running backs is suspended former Baltimore Ravens standout Ray Rice.

Smith, 29, leads the Falcons with five touchdowns on just 31 touches. With seven touchdowns in 39 career touches, Smith's low mileage should make him more of an attractive option for teams, if he reaches free agency.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Smith "epitomizes everything you want in a team player" and expressed a desire to have Smith on the team for years to come.

Smith will make $730,000 this season. He's not expecting a lucrative contract; just a nice raise.

"It’s one of those things you can't control," Smith said. "The numbers are going to fall into place as they are."