700wlw radio host Rocky Boiman shared the news after Dre Kirkpatrick also hinted at a return for Smith last week.
I hesitate to do this but a reliable source tells me to expect a visit by former #Bengals OT Andre Smith and Bengals staff in next 24hrs.— Rocky Boiman (@ROCKYBOIMAN50) March 13, 2017
The thought is that Smith would return after a one-year hiatus to serve as a backup for a highly questionable offensive line. Smith joined the Minnesota Vikings in 2016 on a one-year deal, but his season ended after four games due to an arm injury.
The Bengals are receiving a seventh round compensatory pick in this year’s NFL Draft due to Smith leaving for the Vikings.
Smith received his second lowest Pro Football Focus grade of his career in 2016, a terrible 39.3, poor grade. But, Bengals offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi was graded just one-tenth higher with a 39.4 grade for the 2016 season. Ogbuehi is expected to be the Bengals’ starting left tackle in 2017, now that Andrew Whitworth has left for the Los Angeles Rams. Jake Fisher is expected to man the right tackle job, which was Smith’s role for nearly the entirety of his Bengals career.
Bringing back Smith would make sense, if he’s going to serve as a backup. Though, it would need to be a contract that allows him to be cut at any time, should the Bengals find a younger, better backup tackle for the 2017 roster. Eric Winston was also brought back on a one-year deal to serve as the primary backup for the tackle positions.
Smith also visited the Bills over the weekend, but left Buffalo without a contract.