After the Cincinnati Bengals declined a two-year option prior to last year, Andre Smith's rookie contract was set to expire after this season, which makes him an unrestricted free agent. As he continues to improve, becoming one of the team's best offensive lineman and the player that the team had hoped for when selecting him No. 6 during the 2009 NFL draft, his value will unquestionably increase heading into free agent this offseason.
That being said there appears to be a good indication that Smith could return next year. Now keep in mind, it's largely subjective based on recent updates and our interpretation of those reports, while filling in some things.
According to Liz Mullen with the Sports Business Journal, Andre Smith recently signed with player agent Ben Dogra with CAA. As Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer points out, CAA and Dogra also represent four other players on the team, including cornerback Terence Newman, tight end Jermaine Gresham, wide receiver A.J. Green and center Jeff Faine.
This is an important factor because much of the science with getting a deal done has as much to do as an agent's relationship with an organization and vice versa -- this isn't just a Bengals thing either, it's true with mostly every agent and franchise.
Smith has gone through agents like a buffet since entering the NFL draft. First he hired Alvin Keels, then fired him after the debacle at the National Scouting Combine. He hired Rick Smith, who helped improve his stock. Yet once Smith was drafted by the Bengals, he fired Smith and re-hired Keels.
On October 23, 2012, Smith terminated his contract with Alvin Keels, entering the market for a new agent.