The contract signed Sunday by Bengals tackle Andre Smith already was regarded in league circles as a bad one for the player, and a good one for the team.
A league source has shared with us a detail that makes it an even better deal for the Bengals.
Per the source, the contract contains a provision that slashes in half Smith’s pay for each game in which he weighs in at 350 pounds or higher — and in which he is not on the active 45-man roster. (So, basically, if he weighs 350 or more and plays, he gets the money.)
It’s technically a de-escalator of his base salary, a device that is permissible as long as Smith’s salary exceeds the league minimum for his specific level of experience. But it’s a dramatic and (as far as we can tell) unprecedented move to compel a player to maintain a certain weight.
So, basically, Andre has millions of reasons to push away from the table on a consistent basis.
Then again, those reasons existed in the weeks and months before the draft; the connection, however, wasn’t as clear.