The Bengals have made a huge splash before they even make a draft pick tonight:
Big Bengals move: Cincinnati is re-signing OT Andre Smith, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 26, 2013
Offensive tackle Andre Smith has established himself as one of the elite right tackles in the NFL today. He finished the 2012 season with a +26.9 grade by Pro Football Focus, the 4th-best by an offensive tackle, and the best by a right tackle.
Smith is clearly a franchise tackle that cannot be allowed to leave Cincinnati, and after a rocky career in Cincinnati that began with a prolonged contract holdout, multiple serious foot injuries, and weight concerns, it’s hard to think the Bengals are ready to invest a long-term contract worth $50 million+, which would make one think he’s a likely candidate to get the franchise tag.
This move is beyond huge and eliminates a need that could have drastically altered the teams’ draft plans.