Jack Bechta with the National Football Post, and former agent for former Bengals guard Eric Steinbach, represents an intriguing perspective. Agents at fault for a player being unable to sign a contract when significant money was floating around early during free agency. Our comparative thought process: Andre Smith.
Agents can be guilty of overpricing the player to the marketplace. Before a client hits the free agent market it’s vitally important for agents to do their research for 10 months leading up to the beginning of free agency. It’s important to establish a value for your client and his position based on what the market will bare. Talking with GMs, pro personnel directors, the NFLPA research department and team salary cap managers can accomplish this. They are all great resources for gathering intel about your client.
The only "value" (or number) associated with Andre Smith, or his representatives, is $9 million per season. Being that no offensive lineman received that value, along with Smith's weight issues, teams have generated enough concerns to play Alice in Chain's "Stay Away" in their '87 Trans Am.
Regardless the Bengals have an offer on the table and Andre Smith (and his reps) don't like it. So while players are in Cincinnati conditioning, working out and rehabilitating injuries, we're not sure where Andre Smith is nor are we sure if he's doing anything right now. And that could feed into a significant concern; expressively over-rating his value that no team is interested in paying.
What's worse for Smith is that this year's draft includes a powerful group of offensive tackles, which gives teams opportunities to fill gaps on their offensive line. Including the Bengals. D.J. Fluker anyone?