Hours after I said that the Andre Smith storyline isn't the most important right now, I found an update that I somehow missed. I know, shocking. We know a few things. We know that the Raiders signed Darrius Heyward-Bey to a five-year $38.4 million deal on July 31. Reportedly on the following Monday, the Bengals offered Smith $33 million over five years.
The issue. The Raiders blew away the slotting system, causing problems not with just Smith, but the Packers and B.J. Raji, the Jaguars and Eugene Monroe and the Bills and Aaron Maybin. In a piece written by Joe Reedy, the Raiders gave 22% more than the same pick slotted last year. Teams, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Silverstein writes, are frantically working at only a 13%-14% increase. Last year, Vernon Gholston signed $32.5 million deal (that could max out at $50 million). The Bengals only offered $500,000 more. Gholston was last year's number sixth pick.
On a piece dated August 7, the NFL Network's Steve Wyche reports that Smith's camp is looking for a five-year deal worth $40 million. That's $1.5 million more than Heyward-Bey. That's also, roughly a 23% increase over Gholston's deal last year. You can call the Bengals cheap, or blame them for negotiations. Historically, that's more justified than not. However the fact is, the Raiders screwed up negotiations for several teams around the seventh overall pick.