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What happens if Bengals' tackle Andre Smith holds out?

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The reality is that Andre Smith is likely missing some portion of training camp while contract negotiations possibly continue into August. Note, however, that this isn't fact. Signing top-ten draft picks before training camp isn't only a problem that the Bengals have; it tends to be a league-thing. Specifically speaking of Cincinnati, the last top-ten pick that the Bengals had to sign, Keith Rivers, held out for ten days and missed 12 practices last year. Carson Palmer signed a contract the week leading up to the 2003 NFL draft. Levi Jones signed his rookie contract on July 25, 2002. The team started camp on the 26th. Justin Smith didn't sign his deal in 2001 until the week leading into the first regular season game of the year.

The fifth overall pick, Mark Sanchez, already signed his deal with the Jets, setting the ceiling for negotiations for the team's rookie tackle. In truth, the Bengals and Smith's agent Alvin Keel, can start talks right now. In a perfect world, both sides will come to an agreement before July 31.

It's been noted several times that Smith tends to have an immaturity side to him, needing a strong authority figure to keep him focused. If negotiations go deep into training camp, how likely is it that Smith will be working out on his own? If he's late to camp, inaction could lead to lengthy return, forced into a conditioning program to get back into football shape while the rest of the team is preparing for the first game of the season.