If the Bengals are going to re-sign right tackle Andre Smith before the start of the draft, they’re going to have to act pretty quickly.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said earlier this week that he was hopeful the team would get a deal done with Smith prior to the start of the draft, perhaps banking on the possibility that the Bengals would draft a younger player spurring Smith to accept whatever was on the table. There are a few hours left for things to change, but it looks like Lewis’ hopes may be dashed.
Geoff Hobson of the team’s website reports that nothing looks imminent on the contract front, significantly raising the likelihood that the Bengals will go into the draft without an obvious choice at right tackle. The team has been adamant that Smith’s situation will not impact their selections by pointing to Anthony Collins and Dennis Roland as in-house options for the spot, but both men have had enough starting experience to know that there’s plenty of space to upgrade over what’s already on hand.
The market for Smith never developed despite his strong 2012 season, something that has seemed to be pushing him back to Cincinnati for a while now. The last step back into a Bengals uniform has proven to be a difficult one to take, though, and it doesn’t look like the coming draft has done anything to make it easier.