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
After a long and tumultuous offseason, the Cincinnati Bengals finally were able to re-sing offensive tackle Andre Smith, and they now bring back every offensive starter from last year’s 10-6 club that made consecutive postseason appearances for the first time in three decades.
Head coach Marvin Lewis on getting Smith back:
"We’re excited to have gotten this important deal done this afternoon. Andre is a fine player who has matured tremendously during his time with us, and completing this now enhances what we’ll be able to do to best improve our team these last two days of the draft."
Andre Smith remarks:
"The last two years here have been tremendous, going to the playoffs both years, and it was time for me to make the decision to be back. I think I’ve fully bought into what Coach Lewis wanted me to do, doing all the little things that make a great pro, and I’ve never enjoyed football more."
And of course, Twitter reactions:
Smith is clearly a franchise tackle that cannot be allowed to leave Cincinnati, but 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+ like he was demanding.
Instead, they game him a 3-year deal worth $18 million.