When Terence Newman tweeted that he was returning to the Cincinnati Bengals on a two-year deal Friday night, Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer offered a small blurb that Andre Smith and the team are not "close to a deal yet."
And apparently Smith's representation isn't happy about what the Cincinnati Bengals are offering.
Peter King with Sports Illustrated writes in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback segment:
I think the agents for Andre Smith are making it very clear to the Bengals, and to the rest of the league: The offer Cincinnati has on the table for Smith stinks (in the mind of agent and player), and the door is open for some team to come in and steal him. Listening, Arizona?
Call us surprised. No, really. Predictable. The shock on our face.
When an unemployed player entering the fourth week of free agency has only one team making a concerted effort to sign him, why would anyone capitulate a salary demand that no one else in the NFL is offering? Mike Brown is known for being cheap, sure, but he's more criticized for making bone-headed contract decisions -- like extending Willie Anderson and Levi Jones, both of whom were considerably lesser than what they're extensions were worth.
Think on it with a balanced view and the Bengals are right to offer a contract that the player isn't happy with. Four weeks into free agency and there remains no known suitors. What should anyone in business do? No demand means limited value.
In one respect, Andre Smith should place the blame on himself. A terrible work ethic, two years of limited work while recovering from injuries and doing even less to rehabilitate from those injuries in 2010, compounded by the weight problems, has convinced 31 teams around the NFL that there's no market for Smith. Cincinnati is willing to bring him back, but doing so under their own terms. They have the advantage, not Smith.
Blame the Bengals if you want. You'd be wrong in doing so. This one is entirely on Smith.