The Cincinnati Bengals made it clear this offseason that their only goal when it came to free agency was to re-sign their own players, while working to rollover as much salary cap into next year to re-sign players like Geno Atkins and A.J. Green to long-term deals. So far, they’ve retained every key free agent, including Adam Jones, Terence Newman, and Wallace Gilberry. The only remaining player the Bengals must retain in order to keep the core of a club that has been to back-to-back playoffs together is offensive tackle Andre Smith.
When the offseason began, it appeared as though Smith’s agent and the Bengals were making progress on a new deal, and outside of a team making Smith a ridiculous offer the Bengals couldn’t afford, it looked as though he would be staying in Cincinnati. But because no other team is offering Smith a free agent contract, he can’t gauge his true value as a Pro Bowl right tackle in the NFL, which he believes is deserving of a deal worth $9 million per season.