What a day for the Bengals. On the second day of the draft, they have vastly upgraded their offense with two athletic players and made quarterback Andy Dalton happy. Before the pick was announced that they selected running back Giovani Bernard, new broke that Cincinnati also re-signed their big right tackle, Andre Smith. Check another box on the "offseason laundry list".
Shortly after the news of the re-signing, it was announced (per Joe Reedy of The Cincinnati Enquirer) that Smith's new contract is a three-year deal. The exact numbers aren't confirmed, but Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network said that the deal is worth $18 in total, averaging $6 million per year. If that's the case, that is right on par with other offensive tackles this year, we just don't know if there are incentive clauses included or not. The right tackle addressed the media on Friday evening in Cincinnati, making it appear that negotiations really ramped up over the past day because Smith was at the facility.
It's quite possible that the run on tackles in the first round prompted the Bengals to be a little more flexible. Then again, Smith's camp may have saw how many tackles went to other possible destinations and they became more flexible. Maybe both. That's strictly conjecture though--regardless, both sides wanted to get the deal done.
We all (wrongly) assumed that Andre Smith wasn't getting looked at anywhere else around the League. Zach Wells of FOX 19 in Cincinnati dispelled that notion, saying that Smith chose the Bengals over the Cardinals, Chargers, and Eagles. That's a great feeling, isn't it?
Head coach Marvin Lewis weighed in:
"We’re excited to have gotten this important deal done this afternoon," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. "Andre is a fine player who has matured tremendously during his time with us, and completing this now enhances what we’ll be able to do to best improve our team these last two days of the draft."
Andre Smith also chimed in on his reunion with the Bengals:
"The last two years here have been tremendous, going to the playoffs both years, and it was time for me to make the decision to be back," Smith said of today’s signing. "I think I’ve fully bought into what Coach Lewis wanted me to do, doing all the little things that make a great pro, and I’ve never enjoyed football more."
And, in case you're not buying Smith's positive outlook, you might be able to tell how Big Andre really feels about it in this picture, courtesy of Reedy once again.