Oct 9, 2011; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Andre Smith (71) reacts at the line of scrimmage against the Jacksonville Jaguars during a game at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Fernando Medina-USA TODAY Sports
The Kansas City Chiefs have drastically changed the free agent landscape by releasing starting offensive Eric Winston. Winston was their starting right tackle, and will immediately become one of the top free agent tackles on the market. He graded out as the 26th-best OT (+13.2) by Pro football Focus.
He immediately becomes one of the 3-or-4 best tackles available in free agency. He won’t be rated as a better player than Andre Smith, but he could be a better option for a team who wants to sign a quality right tackle, but doesn’t want to break the bank. Essentially, by Winston joining the free agent market, a potential suitor for Andre Smith has been eliminated (assuming the Chiefs don’t pursue Smith).
As of now, I’d say the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Chicago Bears are the biggest threats to sign smith. All three have gaping holes at offensive tackle and a good amount of money to spend.