Report: Bengals, RT Andre Smith aren't close to a new deal

How much money can Smith expect to make? (USATSI)
How much money can Andre Smith expect to make? (USATSI)

If the thinking that free-agent right tackle Andre Smith wants $9 million per season is correct, you can understand why Smith remains unsigned. And you can understand why, as the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Joe Reedy reports, the Bengals and Smith are not even close to completing a deal.

None of the high-profile free-agent right tackles, including Gosder Cherilus and Sebastian Vollmer, have received anywhere close to $9 million per year -- even left tackle Jake Long couldn’t surpass that average -- so it seems unlikely that Bengals management, traditionally a rather-stingy group, would go for Smith’s desires.

As Reedy writes, “It is hard at this point to see Smith getting a deal similar to what Cherilus received.” (Cherilus, by the way, signed with the Colts for $34 million over five years.)

Though Smith is coming off the best season of his career, it’s also difficult to forget that he struggled with injuries, weight gain and an apparent lack of motivation during his first few seasons in Cincinnati. Considering he hasn’t made any free-agent visits this offseason, it seems probable that Smith will return -- no, will have to return -- to the Bengals for 2013.

“They know that we want to make a deal and we want them to engage and get it done,” owner Mike Brown said recently.

Smith just likely won’t get as much money as he originally wanted.

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