As evidence begins to emerge regarding the specific numbers relating to the negotiation between the Bengals and tackle Andre Smith, the sixth overall pick in the draft, a source with knowledge of the situation tells us that the holdout could last into the regular season.
Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Bengals have offered Smith a contract worth $33 million, $5.25 million less than the base value of the contract given to Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, the seventh pick in the 2009 draft.
Per Reedy, Smith’s camp is looking for something slightly greater than Heyward-Bey’s deal.
In this instance, waiting to work out a deal with Smith has hurt the Bengals. If they’d moved before Heyward-Bey had signed, the Bengals likely could have gotten Smith for a reasonable increase over the base value of the contract given to last year’s sixth overall pick, which a league source tells us was $32.5 million, not $40 million.
Instead, the Bengals are now faced with the floor created by the Heyward-Bey contract, and Smith most likely won’t be accepting a penny less.
Really, why should he? For the same reason that receiver Michael Crabtree should respect the slotting system, so should the Bengals.