Andre Smith signs one-year deal with Vikings

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The Vikings came into the offseason with plans on upgrading their offensive line and they opened free agency by signing guard Alex Boone away from the 49ers.

Now they’ve made a move at tackle as well. Andre Smith announced on his Twitter account that he is signing a one-year deal to join the Vikings as well.

Smith visited the Vikings and Cardinals before agreeing to the deal in Minnesota. The sixth overall pick of the 2009 draft has spent his entire career with the Bengals and has been the team’s starter on the right side of the line for the last five seasons.

Phil Loadholt has played that spot for the Vikings in recent years and the team reworked his deal this offseason after Loadholt missed all of 2015 with a torn Achilles. Smith’s arrival will likely leave Loadholt in a backup role or looking for work with another team should the Vikings opt for other alternatives in reserve.

Smith was the top ranked free agent left on PFT’s Hot 100 list at No. 18. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, No. 25, is now in that spot.

102 responses to “Andre Smith signs one-year deal with Vikings

  1. Good teams don’t rely on free agents. We might pick up some depth guys but if you’re excited about FAs you aren’t a smart football fan
    ____

    Denver won the SB with a bunch of free agents.

  2. Thought he’d go to the Cards for sure. He should be a good addition, but I hope the old saying that “if you have 4 RTs you don’t have any” doesn’t apply here. And we can certainly see above who isn’t a smart football fan, but you gotta at least give him loyal to a lack of logical fault credit.

  3. Carl Gerbschmidt is just mad that the Packers have an all-world quarterback, but also have a GM that refuses to surround him with talent. You build through the draft, and supplement through free agency. Ted Thompson may be the most overrated GM in professional sports.

    But go ahead Carl. Be bitter. Perhaps Rodgers and Jordy can carry that team to a championship all by themselves again.

  4. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Mar 17, 2016 12:08 PM
    Good teams don’t rely on free agents. We might pick up some depth guys but if you’re excited about FAs you aren’t a smart football fan

    —————

    Good teams rely on free agents all the time. Good teams build via free agency, and the draft. Good teams make moves, and make things happen. YOUR team doesn’t know what the concept of free agency is. That’s why the fans of YOUR team grow restless with Ted Thompson’s lack of vision for the future of YOUR team. Psssst, your lack of confidence is showing. Maybe you should #believe.

  5. Reese, you couldnt have topped this deal???? Oh thats right, we have perennial all-pro Robert Newhouse at RT…what was I thinking?

  6. The human holding and false start machine has left the building. Hope for Vikes fans he don’t weigh 399lb at the beginning of camp.

  7. Zimmer wanted competition on the offensive line and he’s got it. Good teams become great teams when they go from having good starters to having great depth.

    Last year the starting O-line looked like this:

    LT Guy coming off of knee surgery who struggled the previous two years

    LG Guy moving from RG who missed most of the previous season

    C Backup guy

    RG Guy who never played G before

    RT Rookie 4th round pick

    Now they get two former starters back from injury, signed two high-quality free agents, and will definitely use a high draft pick on an OT in case Kalil doesn’t improve. Fusco moves back to RG where he’s always been good. Sully is back at C, Berger returns to super-sub, Harris becomes a solid backup at G and T, Clemmings is a guy they like who struggled as a rookie but should be a future starter.

  8. I’m well aware that championships are not won in March/April…

    But this is exactly why us Vikes fans are so happy with Zimmer. We had a need and we’ve addressed it. Zims knows exactly what was lacking last year and made a move to fix it. From letting our old O-Line coach go to adding these pieces in FA. Our coach is building something here and it’s going to be fun to watch. If Teddy can make a big step forward this year, look out…..

  9. Every SB winning team has key contributions from free agent signings. Of course the good teams are usually comprised mainly of players that they themselves drafted or signed as UDFA’s, but its still OK to get excited about signing a quality free agent.

  10. Who do these ‘Vikings’ think they are, anyways? Don’t they realize we are the Green Bay Packers? And that they should just lay down and roll over for us. Because we’re the Packers.

    It is so hard carrying the torch for my Packers and being Wisconsin’s Favorite Son while our division champs actually do things to get better and we sit here and watch our cars rust.

  11. Lol Carl gerbschmidt! Do you realize the last time that the Packers won the superbowl their mvp was Desmond howard? A FREE AGENT PICK UP! The Packers need to get rid of their gm and his stupid way of thinking about free agency. Have fun being 2nd or 3rd in the division again.

  12. Smith has had motivation problems in the past. A one year deal with him is probably smart for the Vikings. He’s played well for us in the past, and should do well for the Vikings. Bengals knew this was coming and drafted a few linemen last year, though, so we should be good.

  13. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Mar 17, 2016 12:08 PM

    Good teams don’t rely on free agents.
    ____

    Of course they don’t. Good teams build through the draft and judiciously use free agency to plug holes that can’t be addressed in the draft. Like the Vikings.

    I might add that good teams don’t ignore free agency, either.

  14. Gerbie, so Julius Peppers was signed as a depth move? Also, the guy that is credited with beginning the turn around of the franchise was also a FA…Reggie White. I suppose that was just a depth move too.

  15. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Mar 17, 2016 12:14 PM
    Either Rick Spielman is a magician for signing the 18th-ranked free agent to a one-year deal or somebody isn’t very good at ranking free agents.

    ————–

    Thank you for proving my point, there’s a reason why these player’s own teams don’t want them. Pretty astute for a vike fan.

  16. I guess Raji knew what he was doing. Can’t blame him. Sucks being second rate.

  17. I was hoping we would grab Smith. I’ve been checking the wire since his visit.

    I’m particularly happy our FA signings for the Vikings. Anything we can do to shore up that woeful offensive line.. I think we’re heading in the right direction.

    Now let’s see what we do in the draft. Maybe a WR and another lineman?

  18. Good teams don’t rely on free agents. We might pick up some depth guys but if you’re excited about FAs you aren’t a smart football fan

    _________________________________________

    LOL! This coming from a Packer fan? Your whole starting defensive line from your Super Bowl winning team in 1996 were free agents:

    Reggie White – Eagles
    Gilbert Brown – Vikings
    Santana Dotson – Bucs
    Sean Jones – Oilers

    As was most of the WR Corps:
    Don Beebe – Bills
    Andre Rison – Browns
    Desmond Howard – Raiders (Super Bowl MVP)

    Yeah, keep talking.

  19. As a long time Bengals fan I can tell you he never lived up to his hype….or his weight.

    He was terrible at pass protection and only “OK” at opening holes in the running game. Cincy drafted him high in the first round and then didn’t try and re-sign him.

    That alone ought to tell you something…..

  20. One good thing about signing with the Vikings, I’m sure they have a pair of roller skates in just his size. That’s the Viking’s tackles for you no matter where they are drafted, they consistently play like they are wearing roller skates.

    It’s a real statement of the quality of this year’s free agent class that Smith ranks #18, that’s about 12 spots below where Theodore ranks among NFL starting QB’s.

  21. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Mar 17, 2016 12:27 PM

    In Teddy We Trust says:
    Mar 17, 2016 12:14 PM
    Either Rick Spielman is a magician for signing the 18th-ranked free agent to a one-year deal or somebody isn’t very good at ranking free agents.

    ————–

    Thank you for proving my point, there’s a reason why these player’s own teams don’t want them. Pretty astute for a vike fan.
    ________

    The Bengals had a couple of recent high draft picks that they want to play so Smith wasn’t worth the investment to them. Smith may not be upper echelon but it’s a low-cost investment to see if he can win the starting job.

  22. So Andre just left a team that will never win a super bowl… and went to another team that will never win a super bowl.

    From a team with a QB who chokes in prime time…. to a team with a QB who single handedly will guarantee his team will never make it to prime time.

    Got it.

    Well, I guess there’s something to be said about getting paid. I guess.

    >

  23. Meanwhile, players in Green Bay are taking leaves of absence to figure out if the really want to stay in that sinking ship.

  24. He was a good player. He just never lived up to his high first round pick status. He did tend to commit penalties at the worst times. I wish him the best in MN.

  25. purplepride11 says:
    Mar 17, 2016 12:26 PM
    Lol Carl gerbschmidt! Do you realize the last time that the Packers won the superbowl their mvp was Desmond howard? A FREE AGENT PICK UP! The Packers need to get rid of their gm and his stupid way of thinking about free agency. Have fun being 2nd or 3rd in the division again.
    ——————————-
    The Minnesota Vikings have no history so they remember no history. Aaron Rodgers was our most recent Superbowl MVP.

  26. Never heard of him. Teddy doesn’t need more time to throw 10 yard dump passes. Teddy needs to get accurate throwing mid to long passes.

  27. purplepride11 says:
    Mar 17, 2016 12:26 PM
    Lol Carl gerbschmidt! Do you realize the last time that the Packers won the superbowl their mvp was Desmond howard? A FREE AGENT PICK UP! The Packers need to get rid of their gm and his stupid way of thinking about free agency. Have fun being 2nd or 3rd in the division again.

    ———–

    Given that you’re a vike fan, I wouldn’t expect a high level of Super Bowl knowledge, but you might want to look up “2010.”

  28. Yes! Now the Vikings can have some real competition on that OL at the tackle position, and have some real insurance in case of injury. Smith is going to be an upgrade that allows the Vikings to think WR in round one of the draft.

    Hopefully Smith does well, the Vikings will sign him to a long-term deal before next year’s free agency starts. But for this year, it’s nice to finally see this team addressing its needs on the OL instead of standing pat and hoping for the best. Nothing to lose with this signing, but very much to potentially gain.

    Great move considering need and the talent available.

  29. I like the move by players to sign one-year prove it deals. Especially the guys who have already made a bunch of money on their previous contracts. It puts them right back in a contract year and hopefully hungry to prove their worth again. Besides, with the way the league is now, players are only really signing 1-2 year contracts no matter how many years their contract says.

    It would be nice the next time the CBA is negotiated to guarantee the entire contract like the other sports. The owners can definitely afford it and the players would have little to complain about.

  30. From a Bengals fan, he is a slightly above average RT. Good for someone who needs and upgrade. My guess is he wants to prove he is better than people think for a year then get a payday.

  31. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Mar 17, 2016 12:14 PM

    Either Rick Spielman is a magician for signing the 18th-ranked free agent to a one-year deal or somebody isn’t very good at ranking free agents.
    ===================================
    Pro Football Focus has him as the 5th best free agent tackle, which would put him somewhere after #57 on PFT’s Hot 100. PFT’s has him as the best free agent tackle. All depends on who you want to believe.

  32. more proof that nobody, including PFT, really pays attention to the Bengals. it’s probably a pretty good pickup for Minnesota but it’s not a great loss to the Bengals and to have him at number 18 is just ridiculous. He’s a borderline average tackle that makes way to many infuriatingly stupid mistakes.

  33. purplepride11 says:
    Mar 17, 2016 12:26 PM
    Lol Carl gerbschmidt! Do you realize the last time that the Packers won the superbowl their mvp was Desmond howard? A FREE AGENT PICK UP!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Close, but no cigar. The last Super Bowl the Packers won was in 2010 and the MVP was Aaron Rogers, who was drafted by Green Bay.

  34. We have so much competition on the offensive line. Which in my mind equals to we are gonna have one of the beat lines in the league! Go vikes! Can’t wait for the draft then the season.

  35. I love this move. It’s yet another low-risk high reward move by Rick Spielman (Are you taking notes Carl?) That’s not overpaying for guys.

    Like a few commenters have mentioned earlier, Coach Zimmer said he wanted to bring competition to this team and Spielman clearly is working together with him to build a championship roster. While Clemmings struggled at RT, he was a rookie, I think with a year under his belt, he’ll be better. But again, it’s all about competing.

    I think Clemmings will battle with Kalil, Boone is a plug & play at LG, Sullivan back at Center, and Harris and Fusco will battle for RG while Loadholt and Smith battle at RT.

    The other thing this gives us, is the ability to bring in extra linemen in goal line situations. This is probably the deepest our offensive line has been in the last 3-5 years. Great move.

  36. No dog in the fight but to all Viking fans. Do not think for one moment Tony Sparanonis a good Oline coach. He has failed just about any place or any position he coached. The NFL is full of recycled coaches for reasons I can’t figure out. Sparano is one of them.

  37. To all the Packer fans attempting to make the point that good teams don’t sign Free Agents, lets put that into perspective.

    Teams that don’t use Free Agency (I believe that is Green Bay alone), end up being in the state they are in today, with an aging and declining marquee QB and a depth chart filled with practice squad players. (see the retirement of B.J. Raji and his replacements, or see the loss of Nelson early and his practice squad replacement).

    No, Packer fans, good teams augment their roster with Free Agents where it make sense. GB is in a free fall with little hope for the future because of your GM’s ardent stance of no free agents.

  38. In all fairness, if the Packers had let the 6th overall draft pick just walk away, we’d be all over them calling him a bust. Now we think he’s the missing piece in our offensive line?

    C’mon fellow vike fans, we’re better than that.

  39. Andre will play best on a one year deal… and could have a great year. It’s the inconsistency in his play and desire that led to Cincy replacing him. Make no mistake, Andre has all the tools to be a dominant o-lineman, its just whether he does it or not.

  40. Welcome to the New Minnesota Moving Company!
    I can see a trade for Loadholdt for a Draft Pick,
    A receiver in the 1st round. and Defensive linemen
    with Rick turning the Loadholdt trade + something for an extra 2nd rounder..
    This team came into the new year with severe line and defensive depth issues. It come out after the Draft Loaded for Bear, and Lion, and Broncos, and Panthers,
    Who did I miss

  41. Earth to Carl G…

    Without FA acquisitions from the Vikings and the Bears, Green Bay wouldn’t have much of a defense.

    Their defense isn’t great, but without FA’s, it would be terrible.

  42. I love Packers trolls. Please keep commenting. It’s hilarious that your second place team just sits there while the division Champs address weaknesses. I absolutely love reading your inane, illogical, bitter comments. Thumbs up to all the trolls who try so hard despite their teams lack of backing them up.

  43. If Andre Smith was soo great the Bengals would have kept him…

    Teams that rely more on FA especially the first day ttend to do so because they have struggled drafting. However this is the correct time to start signing FAs as the wave of big spending has settled down and you can get better value.

  44. Isn’t this the guy with the DD’s …. not what you really want to see on a male professional football player…. but hey, those DD’s must have gave Zim and Spielman a woody

  45. I love how fans overlook the true, underlying meaning of free agency. When you draft well, you have the opportunity to develop your players into the football players they were destined to become. When you don’t, you find your team a few years down the road with holes on the roster that ONLY a FA signing can begin to address. This means you drafted so poorly and to such an extent, you need to sign cast-offs from other teams that nobody else wanted. Then you get to stick out your chest to your fans to show them how clever you are to go out there and better the team.

    Unfortunately, nobody ever goes back to look at how those FA pickups turned out. I guess because they don’t want to see the reality.

    Thanks, but I’ll take the Packers way any day….

  46. It’s fun to just log in to see the comments of delusional Packer fans… Must be boring when your team does absolutely nothing. Maybe as “owners” you should schedule a meeting to talk free agent strategy.

  47. Why would GB Fans be upset? GB doesn’t care they signed a couple of FA’s…. if you signed any lineman you improved that mess in front of Theodore.

    The real reason GB fans aren’t upset is when is the last time the Vikings signed a FA that stuck around and played great for more than 3 years? It sure as heck wasn’t Jennings, Favre, or McNabb…. maybe Linval Joseph has a CHANCE, but you have to go back to maybe Fred Smoot for the last time a FA hung around for the long term and made an impact…

  48. Its quite obviously a one year contract to allow loadholt and smith to compete this year. Winner gets a shiny new multi year contract next year. In the words of Vicky Valencourt, “Thats how its gon’ be!”

  49. No story on Andre Smith is complete without the obligatory video of his pro-day 40.

    Google Andre Smith combine.

  50. Shaggy, ask Rodgers wgat he thought about us picking up Jared Allen. 6 years with the team. The reason were not bragging about our FA pick ups is because of how much more awesome we are at drafting.

  51. Every team uses the draft and free agents. Every single team. So if your argument is that your team is so good that you dont need free agents, youre clearly either a liar or dont understand how the nfl work

    Alao, packers actually went 9-7 in 2010. They didnt qualify for the playoffs, and that superbowl is a sham because of it. Doesnt count, cheaters.

  52. After the acquisition of Andre Smith, sports sites are saying the Vikings have the most expensive O-line in the NFL. Good work, Rick. Can’t wait to see AP run next year as well as see what Teddy can do when he’s not sacked a gazillion times.

  53. I feel like he’s either gonna work hard and win the RT job or he’s not gonna make the final 53. That OL room is gonna be competitive.

  54. summitmech says:
    Mar 17, 2016 4:05 PM
    Shaggy, ask Rodgers wgat he thought about us picking up Jared Allen. 6 years with the team. The reason were not bragging about our FA pick ups is because of how much more awesome we are at drafting.
    ______________

    Yes Jared Allen raised havoc but he WASN’T a FA… They traded a 1st, and 3rd and swapped late picks…. My point is the Vikings have NOT signed a FA that has made an impact for more than 3 seasons…

    I understand that there are levelheaded fans that are reasonable… but anyone thinking GB fans are “Upset” because the Vikings made a couple signings is delusional.

  55. lindacaseauthor says:
    Mar 17, 2016 4:36 PM

    After the acquisition of Andre Smith, sports sites are saying the Vikings have the most expensive O-line in the NFL. Good work, Rick. Can’t wait to see AP run next year as well as see what Teddy can do when he’s not sacked a gazillion times.
    ===================================

    Being the most expensive and being good are two totally different things. The article that says they have the most expensive line goes on to say that it still isn’t a top-flight line. The Vikings line wasn’t that bad last year, and plenty of teams had much more flux and bigger issues with their lines than the Vikings. The Vikings lost nothing with Berger filling in for Sullivan

    A big part of the problem is that Teddy holds the ball too long and he has a slow release. But Vikings fans won’t say a thing about Teddy.

  56. Yes Jared Allen raised havoc but he WASN’T a FA… They traded a 1st, and 3rd and swapped late picks…. My point is the Vikings have NOT signed a FA that has made an impact for more than 3 seasons…

    Nope,

    Antoine Winfield
    Pat Williams
    Chester Taylor
    Visanthe Shianco

  57. The only reason Teddy held onto the ball so long was the fact he didn’t have quality receivers! Wallace is lazy and washed up, Diggs was OK but after game 4 or 5 he got all the coverage. No way the Vikings were going to bench a guy they were paying 11 million a year for. There is a reason Minnesota threw the least Pass attempts last year, Between TJ on Right tackle and pressure up the Middle, Teddy had the least amount of time from Snap to Sack in the league with the most hurries and hits % wise in the League!

  58. So the FA players that the Vikings brought in that did help, and your right some of those players were VERY good some were even great but that was were signed nearly a decade ago, and now are ALL retired… since Spielman has been at the helm the money they have spent on most FAs hasn’t been the best of results…

  59. It’s a fine signing, and, I understand it helps create competition. But I think some fellow viking fans need to put a cork on the excitement factor. ‘Creates competition’ isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. But, hey, good luck, I hope it works out

  60. Since when is the barometer of a good FA signing been whether or not they are with the team 3 years later?

    See: Denver Broncos Super Bowl Champions.

  61. So the FA players that the Vikings brought in that did help, and your right some of those players were VERY good some were even great but that was were signed nearly a decade ago, and now are ALL retired… since Spielman has been at the helm the money they have spent on most FAs hasn’t been the best of results…

    Really? What free agents are you talking about? Jennings and Wallace? Swings and misses, yes, but what about Munnerlyn, Joseph, and Newman? You do realize last year only 3 players on the Vikings starting 26 (includes special teams players) Were NOT drafted by the Vikings?

  62. The fudge fans are just upset because they know their door to the north has closed. The Vikings have passed them as the team that will dominate the division for the next 6-8 years. The are improving this offseason while peppers is getting older, Raji retired, and Lacy is resorting to tony Horton for his physical motivation. I love it

  63. cribbage12
    Mar 17, 2016, 1:48 PM CDT
    I love how fans overlook the true, underlying meaning of free agency. When you draft well, you have the opportunity to develop your players into the football players they were destined to become.
    ——-
    I get your basic premise, but the Packers absolutely have missed opportunities by refusing to partake in free agency. Julius Peppers, who is quite old, is but a single example in your roster. One SB with the best QB in the league is inexcusable. And, ask the Broncos how well it works signing free agents. Manning way past his prime and with horrible numbers are the world champs.

    So, I’d say the “Packers way” is currently falling short.

  64. Simply put, on a 1 year contract at that price, it’s a very good signing. Other then a few random Packer fans, nobody thinks this is a bad signing.

    The Vikings have signed areas of need without breaking the bank. Now comes the draft. Their team will be improved. Nobody can “predict” a Super Bowl, but the team is improved. And that means there’s a chance.

  65. frank booth says:
    Mar 17, 2016 5:43 PM

    lindacaseauthor says:
    Mar 17, 2016 4:36 PM

    After the acquisition of Andre Smith, sports sites are saying the Vikings have the most expensive O-line in the NFL. Good work, Rick. Can’t wait to see AP run next year as well as see what Teddy can do when he’s not sacked a gazillion times.
    ===================================

    Being the most expensive and being good are two totally different things. The article that says they have the most expensive line goes on to say that it still isn’t a top-flight line. The Vikings line wasn’t that bad last year, and plenty of teams had much more flux and bigger issues with their lines than the Vikings. The Vikings lost nothing with Berger filling in for Sullivan

    A big part of the problem is that Teddy holds the ball too long and he has a slow release. But Vikings fans won’t say a thing about Teddy.
    ———————————
    Viking fans don’t say a thing about Teddy??? Really? I’ve seen plenty of Viking fans including myself that have discussed Teddy’s improvement opportunities but just so you can no longer state this let me summarize:
    1) He has difficulty with the long pass
    2) He’s not good at timing patterns
    3) Yes, he sometimes holds the ball too long.
    4) He’s not good at finishing drives.

    There are some of his opportunities. But with that said, most Viking fans are pretty optimistic about his upside and the fact he’s pretty good at avoiding the rush. Black and white stats will tell you he was sacked 45 times in 2014 and 44 times in 2015. What those black and white stats don’t tell you is how many times he has defenders in his face because of a lackluster OLine and that he was heavily pressured almost 50% of his drop backs.

  66. I’ll bet green Loadholt is the starter heading into camp. In fact, no FA the Vikings have signed is an instant starter…besides Boone. I’ll bet the same pile he outplays Harris but I like that dude too. Real, honest depth here! Shame they can’t keep them all.

    No issues with how the Vikes have handled free agency. Most of these guys signed for 1-year and they have plenty of cap space for Harrison Smith.

    Witness solid management on display GB fans.

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