Andre Smith became a free agent during this off-season and with that came a very high price. Smith, an offensive right tackle and probably the best RT in the NFL is currently commanding $9 million a year for a contract, about $4 million more than the current highest paid RT. Unfortunately for Smith, the kind of money he is looking for is the kind of money that a left blindside offensive tackle would get per season, and trying to negotiate with the notoriously tight-fisted Paul Brown and the Cincinnati Bengals for almost twice what the next highest player at his position gets is no easy task.
Since he is an unrestricted free agent, Smith has been allowed to seek offers from other teams, but unfortunately there hasn’t been much buzz surrounding him. Because of his constant fluctuating weight that caused the Bengals to put a clause in his contract that if he ever weighed in at over 350-pounds he would be fined and his bad attitude, no one is willing to risk $9 million a year on a player who until two seasons ago, was constantly injured. It was so bad in fact, that the Bengals had an opportunity at the beginning of last season to extend his rookie contract for a fifth year but decided against it.
The good news is that Smith really will have no option but to re-sign for the Bengals. If he wants to be the highest paid player at his position in the league, he’s going to have to sign a fairly long contract with quite a lot of clauses and there likely will only be a small amount guaranteed. The latest on Smith’s contract is that his agent is the one that’s currently holding up the negotiations, waiting for Jake Long to sign his contract with either the Miami Dolphins or The St. Louis Rams so he can try to get Smith’s asking price, but in the end, there’s no one else biting so Smith will have to sign at a lower price. My guess is four years, $30 million.
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