When Andre Smith was drafted as the sixth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, people were hesitant. Sure. The guy was big, he had promise as being the next Willie Anderson. A stable offensive tackle on the right side for the future. The guy could maul people, throw them like a Superstar wrestling facing off against the no-name challengers on Saturday morning wrestling. Yes, I'm that old to remember those shows.
Smith's plight started before he even left college, suspended for the 2009 Sugar Bowl after having improper dealing with an agent. Leaving the NFL Combine without telling anyone shocked many people. When he did come back, his interviews with teams were reportedly terrible. So he fired Alvin Keels, his agent and hired Rick Smith, who worked towards increasing Andre Smith's draft stock.
During his Pro Day, Smith, reportedly a prospect NFL lineman, bench pressed 225 pounds only 19 times and he ran his 40-yard dash in 5.23 -- but obviously, his 40-time really wasn't why everyone will remember that day. And so help me god if someone posts that picture again. After Andre Smith was drafted by the Bengals, he fired Rick Smith and rehired his former agent, Alvin Keels.
Shall we continue?
Contract negotiations prompted him to holdout 30 days before he finally joined the team after the start of Training Camp. Two days later, he broke his foot during non-contact drills. Smith would play six games in 2009 and start one -- only because the team began the game with unbalanced formation. In February of 2010, Smith had a procedure done to strengthen his foot and prevent future breaks. Guess what? After it took Smith a long time to rehabilitate, ticking off Marvin Lewis in the process calling Smith's workout habits into question (and the entire Alabama football program to boot), Smith played seven games, starting four. Then he broke his foot. Again. Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata plays silently in the background.
Once negotiations were over that allowed Smith "play" for the team, the deals were released. The deal Smith signed was roughly a four-year deal with only $21 million guaranteed. It brought up questions in league circles because the deal heavily favored the team. That's our Mikey. The team can exercise an option in his contract that will maximize the deal to a six-year contract worth $42 million. In other words, Smith will have to earn his paycheck.
But the team will need to make that decision during the offseason.