That was last December. Less than 4 months ago. And it was an injury to his oft injured foot.
9 million is a LOT to ask. For that - you want a guy that is absolutely perfect. No injury history. Immaculate work ethic. Best at his position. Wants to be with the team, loves his job, is a leader. Only one of those things is there with Andre Smith - that he is best at his position. The other things are either a no or there is evidence going either way.
If we drop 9 million on him, what if he gets injured again? He was in good shape last year and STILL was able to injure his foot again. What if he gains even 10 pounds? That stress fracture will be even more likely to happen. He has the leverage now to get a contract without workout/weight clauses. How do you think he will react when there is nothing forcing him to lose weight?
Worst thing though is his intangibles. Almost all of them are a negative. Especially since he doesn't seem like he wants to be here. I don't hear him talking positively of the team, the city, or his team-mates. I don't hear mention of any "Andre Smith Foundation" or of him giving back to the community. I don't hear him taking control of any leadership role. How can you make him one of the 2 most expensive players on the team when he hasn't really shown himself to be for the team or the city?
Bottom line is he is NOT worth top dollar. He is not worth 9 million. He is worth a lot of money - but not 9 million. I am not sure what his monetary value is. 7 or 8 million maybe? But some team will offer him 9 million. And maybe he will WANT to go to work with his new team. A man has to enjoy what he is doing and where he is working to truly be productive at what he does.
Also, please don't mistake me for a Mike Brown apologist. If that money isn't going to be spent on Andre Smith, it better be spent on something! Sebastian Vollmer for instance - who HAS those other attributes that Smith lacks. I would be more confident giving Vollmer 9 million rather than Smith. Or any other sure fire, top 5 RT for that matter. That money SHOULD be spent. Spend it wisely - not on castoffs like Nate Clements. Its amazing to me that he is even in the top 10 in terms of Salary - Clements. Anyways, what are your thoughts?