During his weekly National Football Post article called the Sunday Blitz, author Dan Pompei rates the best available free agents at this point during free agency. Grouped by positions, names like Brady Quinn, Michael Turner, Kevin Boss, Brandon Lloyd are out there (hence why free agency has mostly shut down).
Reflecting on Eric Winston, who is arguably the best offensive tackle on the free agency market, Pompei concludes during his offensive tackle blurb that "Several personnel men I spoke with find Andre Smith highly overrated." Lack of known interest around the NFL indirectly confirms those sources. As of this posting, Smith hasn't made any known visits with other teams.
Smith is reportedly unhappy with the offer that Cincinnati currently has on the table, who was reportedly demanding $9 million per season. We suspect that the demand may have wiped out any competition against the Bengals, allowing the team to negotiate a deal that they feel comfortable with. Further compounding the problem for Smith is the NFL draft. If both sides are unable to reach an agreement, the Bengals may be forced to use one of their top four selections within the first three rounds on an offensive tackle. Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker is a favorite.
Either way. The Bengals declined a two-year option, reducing the six-year deal to four years after a poor two-year start since 2009. It wasn't until 2012 that Smith made a name for himself, but too late late if he had expected a significant contract during this offseason. And at this point we're not sure if Cincinnati really wants to sign him; otherwise they'd capitulate to his demand and bury this story. Yet they have options and if Smith isn't signed to a deal that they want, Cincinnati has cheaper options during the NFL draft that may prove more talented and effective in the NFL.