As Joe Reedy writes, the Bengals’ message to Smith and his demands were made clear early, and haven’t changed since:
Ever since the start of free agency, the Bengals message to Andre Smith has been the same throughout — love to have you back but not going to break the bank to do it.
They have maintained that message even when reports surfaced that Smith was looking for $9 million a year.It has remained consistent as the market for right tackles was established and again when SI’s Peter King said last Monday that Smith’s side thinks the Bengals offer “stinks”.
As Marvin Lewis said during the league meetings about Smith: “It will happen when it happens and if not we’ll move and get another guy.”
With 16 days and counting until the 2013 NFL draft, each passing days lessens the chances Smith is back in Cincinnati next season. If for whatever reason the Bengals are on the clock April 25th with Smith still unsigned, there’s a good chance they’ll commit to a young rookie like Alabama’s D.J. Fluker or Florida State’s Menelik Watson.
As of now, I’d say it’s 50/50 as to whether Smith re-signs with the Bengals, and that’s only because no other team is actively pursuing him.