With Friday’s re-signing of cornerback Terence Newman, the only major free agent the Bengals have left is offensive tackle Andre Smith, but according to Bengals Beat Writer Joe Reedy, it doesn’t sound like a deal is coming anytime soon:
That leaves the last major priority being getting Andre Smith under contract, but indications are neither side is close to a deal yet.
Smith was originally seeking a deal averaging $9 million per season, but no one expected him to get that kind of offer from anyone. In fact, there have been no reported contract offers made to Smith from any NFL team other than the Bengals, and it’s unclear as to whether Mike Brown is using that to try and force Smith to sign a below-market deal.
When CB/PR Adam Jones was re-signed last week, he said he knew Terence Newman planned to return because of the consistency that they, along with Leon Hall, had developed that will keep them among the NFL’s best pass defenses:
I was talking to Leon (Hall) and the first thing I asked him is ‘How long is your contract?’ We’ve got a pretty good tandem going back there. The three of us like playing together. It’s fun. One of us might be down one day, but the other guy picks him up.
Even with the signing of quarterback Josh Johnson this offseason, it may not be enough to take the Bengals out of the running for a QB in April’s NFL Draft, and they worked out Florida State’s E.J. Manuel this week, and he’s now scheduled to visit the Cleveland Browns this coming week. Perhaps the Bengals are just getting a good scouting report of a future opponent.