Update: One day after a report emerged saying the Bengals were looking to re-sign Andre Smith, that plan has changed as a result of the big trade involving Cordy Glenn.
According to Bengals.com, “it looks like right tackle Andre Smith is no longer in their (the Bengals’) free agency plans.”
The Bengals will be spending about $9 million this year on Glenn, so it makes sense that they don’t want to allot more money to the tackle position, especially when the team already added Bobby Hart in free agency, too.
The following was our original story from Monday on the Bengals wanting to bring back Andre Smith....
The Cincinnati Bengals are busy considering their free agent options, including which of their own free agents will return to the team next season.
Offensive tackle Andre Smith signed a one-year deal to return to the Bengals in 2017 after a one-year hiatus and he’s about to become a free agent again if the Bengals don’t get a new deal done with the former first round pick by Wednesday, March 14 at 4:00 p.m. ET.
But, it sounds like the Bengals would like to re-sign Smith after he did a solid job as a backup turned starter at right tackle for the team in 2017. Per Bengals.com, the team would like to re-sign Smith along with another Smith — defensive end Chris Smith.
It’s also believed they’re looking to re-up the Smiths, right tackle Andre and pass rusher Chris because they were solid pieces last season. When both starting tackles struggled and right tackle Jake Fisher was sidelined with an irregular heartbeat midway through the season, Andre Smith came off the bench to start eight games and was their best player at the spot until he missed the last two weeks with an injury.
Fisher has been cleared and they signed former Giants starting right tackle Bobby Hart last month, but for the second straight year they’re looking to Smith in free agency to add his experience.
It makes sense to bring back Smith on a low-cost, backup deal as he does serve a purpose for the Bengals as a backup lineman. The Bengals don’t have much depth at offensive tackle and while Smith shouldn’t be handed a job, he can compete at offensive tackle and start in a pinch. Smith’s one year away from the Bengals in 2016 didn’t go too well. He played in four games for the Vikings before suffering a season-ending injury that landed him on Injured/Reserve.
There was another report last week about the Bengals wanting to re-sign defensive end Chris Smith. Though, that will likely come at a larger cost and with more competition from other NFL teams. As both Smiths are under contract with the Bengals currently, the team could be working now to re-sign the duo before free agency officially kicks off and other teams can get their hands on them.