'Tis the season for arbitrary lists put out by various media outlets during the slow part of the NFL calendar. One such list was recently written by NFL.com's Eliot Harrison. In it, Harrison makes his list of power rankings after all teams have worked out and have caught a glimpse with what they have with their respective new roster additions.
The darlings of the 2013 offseason, the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, are predictably ranked No.1 and No.2 on the list. From his previous power rankings list, Harrison dropped the Bengals one spot to No.9 on this new list. Interestingly enough, Harrison says points at Andre Smith's mysterious absence from OTAs and minicamp as the reason for the one spot drop.
Andre Smith got his money. Thus begins the nervous hand-wringing over Smith's motivation -- or lack thereof. Skipping out on the club's minicamp, Smith received some hefty fines.Cincinnati Bengals> fans really shouldn't worry about Smith, though. The fines are nothing his three-year, $18 million contract won't cover. He'll still be able to pay his On Demand charges.
It's debatable how big of a deal Smith's absence really is to the team. We've deabted this a couple of times on the WhoDeyWeekly podcast over the past couple of weeks. Some of us are nervous, mostly because of the mystery surrounding his absence, while others aren't as worried because he hasn't missed any Training Camp of yet. There also hasn't been any direct indication that the "issues" are conditioning-related, so we can only conjecture what is going on.
Still, the Bengals landed in Harrison's top-ten in the league, as they continue to be recognized as a team on the rise. It seems as if the team has been landing right around the No.8 to No.12 range from various sites.