As Bengals offensive tackle Andre Smith gets prepared for the start of free agency on Friday, he’s eagerly anticipating a contract that will likely make him one of the highest-paid tackles in the NFL. But some teams aren’t ready to pay him that kind of money. While he’s been one of the best tackles in all of football the past two seasons, his first two seasons in the league were a disaster.
After a 30-day contract impasse, Smith missed all of training camp and three preseason games, before eventually signing his contract on August 30, 2009. Just days after ending his hold out, Smith fractured his left foot during a non contact drill at training camp.
It wasn’t until December 13, 2009 that Smith his first start. For the season, Smith played in just six games.
2010 wasn’t much better after the Bengals placed Smith on injured reserve in late November with a broken foot, ending his season after playing in seven of the eight regular season games to that date.