The first round pick out of Alabama played hurt much of his first two years in the league, and for awhile his potential continued to shine brighter than the skill he was showing on the field.
As Smith approached his contract year, he slimmed down and quickly evolved as one of the premier right tackles in the league.
That fact had a lot of NFL teams, including the Bengals, having second thoughts about the monster contract that Smith was requesting.
Cincinnati played it smart by simply waiting. Without any other teams looking to enter into contact negotiations, Andre Smith again found himself in talks with the Bengals, and a deal was finally struck.
Andre gets to stay in Cincinnati, and the Bengals scored an impressive value contract with an equally impressive young talent. The new deal is an $18 million contract for three years, which equates to a far more reasonable $6 million per season.