Andre Smith is clearly Cincinnati's No. 1 free agent priority, hands down. Talks continued on Tuesday with Smith's representative Ben Dogra and reports suggested that talks may have continued into Wednesday, while Dogra, currently in St. Louis, is nearing a contract with another tackle free agent, Jake Long.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis spoke with the local beat writers on Wednesday, saying that the team is "working hard to get" a deal down with Andre Smith, as well as others.
More Lewis on Smith talks: "We just have to get deal done. Our people have done a great job thus far and we'll continue to work hard at it."— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) March 13, 2013
After Smith and a collection of free agents that the team would like to retain, it's off to the NFL draft.
"Our hope is to come out of this next four, five days to go into the draft and to be able to draft the best players available for us,"
While teams are signing players, the Bengals haven't been entirely inactive during free agency. They've re-signed most of their defensive line, except for Pat Sims who is visiting with the Oakland Raiders. They've also tendered their restricted and exclusive-rights free agents while hosting a handful of free agent running backs to fill some gaps on the roster.
This team was built through the draft and will continue building through the draft.