Andre Smith (OT)

Cardinals To Sign OT Andre Smith

Former Bengals tackle Andre Smith is signing a two-year, $8MM deal with the Cardinals, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The deal could be worth up to $10.2MM with bonuses.

Smith will receive $2.85MM in fully guaranteed funds, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. He’ll be due a $500K roster bonus on the third day of the 2019 league year.

Smith, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with Cincinnati after being selected No. 6 overall in the 2009 draft, reunited with the Bengals last offseason. He signed a one-year deal with the notion that he would be the team’s starting right guard. He lost that competition to Trey Hopkins, but a spot opened up at right tackle when Jake Fisher was shut down for the year with a heart condition.

Back at his native tackle position, Smith didn’t really deliver. Pro Football Focus rated him as just the No. 64 tackle out of 85 qualified players in December when he was placed on IR. Smith hasn’t earned a quality score from PFF since 2014, a sign that he has declined in recent years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Place Andre Smith On IR

The Bengals have placed tackle Andre Smith on injured reserve. In related moves, the Bengals signed fellow tackle Justin Murray off the Saints practice squad. They also signed linebacker Connor Harris to the taxi squad. Andre Smith

Smith, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with Cincinnati after being selected No. 6 overall in the 2009 draft, reunited with the Bengals in the offseason. He signed a one-year deal with the notion that he would be the team’s starting right guard. He lost that competition to Trey Hopkins, but a spot opened up at right tackle when Jake Fisher was shut down for the year with a heart condition.

Even at his native tackle position, Smith didn’t really deliver. Pro Football Focus rates him as just the No. 64 tackle in the league out of 85 qualified players. Smith hasn’t earned a quality score from PFF since 2014, a sign that he has declined in recent years.

The soon-to-be 31-year-old will be eligible for unrestricted free agency in January. He’s lost a step or three, but his experience and versatility could allow him to find work in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Raiders, Eagles, Broncos

“Things could be on track” for a vote on the Raiders’ potential relocation to take place during the upcoming owners meetings from March 26-29, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy informed Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com. Indeed, the Raiders are “on course” to apply for Las Vegas relocation at the meetings, a source told Gutierrez. If a vote is held, Mark Davis will need 23 of the league’s other 31 owners to sign off on his Vegas plan. Before that happens, though, owners want to know where the Raiders would play in 2019, according to Gutierrez. They’re going to remain in Oakland the next two seasons, and the potential Las Vegas stadium wouldn’t open until 2019, leaving a one-year gap.

More from around the league:

  • Florida State running back and first-round prospect Dalvin Cook is in Philadelphia meeting with the Eagles, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). The Eagles finished an unimpressive 18th in the league in yards per carry last season and don’t have a high-end No. 1 rusher, so it’s possible they’ll give Cook serious consideration if he’s on the board at No. 14.
  • One of Cook’s fellow draft-bound running backs, Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon, visited the Broncos on Thursday, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano. Mixon met privately with both Broncos CEO Joe Ellis and general manager John Elway, adds Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter links).
  • Terence Newman told reporters that his agent spoke with the Raiders on the same day he spoke to the Vikings, but Oakland did not make an offer (Twitter link via Mark Craig of the Star Tribune). Regardless, the Vikings were Newman’s top choice. This week, the cornerback agreed to return to Minnesota for his age-39 season.
  • Although the Bengals’ Andre Smith has served as an offensive tackle during his entire eight-year career, he’ll shift to right guard in his ninth season, writes Geoff Hobson of the team’s website. “We think he has chance to be a really good player for us there,” said Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander. Smith, who spent his first seven seasons in Cincinnati and 2016 in Minnesota, returned to the Bengals on Tuesday on a one-year deal. He’ll replace former line mate and standout right guard Kevin Zeitler, who signed a massive contract with the AFC North rival Browns at the outset of free agency.
  • While the Vikings have shown interest in free agent cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, they aren’t among the teams that have booked visits with him, tweets Ben Goessling of ESPN.com.
  • Offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus has officially announced his retirement (Twitter link). After initial word that Cherilius would retire, one report said that he was simply not seeking a contract at this time, indicating that the situation was fluid. However, Cherilus is indeed walking away from the game.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Bengals To Sign Andre Smith

The Bengals will reunite with Andre Smith, as they’ve agreed to sign the free agent tackle, according to Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Smith will ink a one-year deal, tweets Mike Garafolo of NFL.com.Andre Smith

Smith, 30, spent the first seven seasons of his career with Cincinnati after being selected sixth overall in the 2009 draft. While he didn’t become a full-time player until his third year in the league, Smith ultimately started 73 games for the Bengals at right tackle. After inking a one-year pact with the Vikings last offseason, Smith played in only four contests before being placed on injured reserve.

The Bengals’ offensive line is in flux after the club saw both Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler leave the club in free agency. With Cedric Ogbuehi projected to take over for Whitworth at left tackle, Smith could theoretically slide in at right tackle, allowing Jake Fisher to shift to guard to replace Zeitler. Instead, initial indications are Smith will play right guard, a position he’s never played at the NFL level, as Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com writes.

The Bills also made a “hard run” at Smith, per Darlington (Twitter link), but Smith preferred to head back to Cincinnati.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals To Host Andre Smith On Visit

Andre Smith‘s one season away from Cincinnati didn’t go well, but the Bengals are interested in a possible reunion. The former Bengals first-round pick will visit with his initial NFL team soon, Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports (on Twitter).

This comes after Smith met with the Bills, so the 30-year-old tackle’s generated some curiosity among teams despite his rough stint with the Vikings. Smith played in a career-low four games after signing his one-year deal to venture to Minnesota. He spent most of last season on IR due to a triceps injury, missing most of what was a brutal year for the Vikes’ offensive front.

Smith signed a one-year, $3.5MM deal with the Vikings after playing for the Bengals during the first seven seasons of his career. Smith served as Cincinnati’s regular right tackle starter for most of this decade. The Bengals have Jake Fisher, Cedric Ogbuehi and Eric Winston as right-edge options. None performed well in the opinion of Pro Football Focus last season, though Smith didn’t either.

Although, Smith has some experience as a left tackle, and the Bengals lost stalwart blindside man Andrew Whitworth last week. So one of the aforementioned incumbents could well be set to move to the left side full-time after Whitworth joined Kevin Zeitler in leaving southwest Ohio for a more lucrative opportunity elsewhere.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

OL Andre Smith To Visit Bills

Free agent offensive tackle Andre Smith is set to visit the Bills, reports ESPN’s Jeff Darlington (via Twitter). The reporter also notes that Smith could wind up with his former team, the Bengals.

Andre Smith (vertical)The former first-round spent the first seven seasons of his career in Cincinnati before signing a one-year, $3.5MM deal with the Vikings last offseason. Smith would ultimately play in four games (four starts) for Minnesota before going down for the year with a triceps injury.

The 30-year-old has 86 career games (77 starts) under his belt. He hasn’t played in all 16 games since 2013, and he’s missed 21 games over the past three seasons.

The Bills don’t have a lot of depth at offensive tackle. Behind Cordy Glenn and Cyrus Kouandjio, the team is only rostering Michael Ola.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings To Place Andre Smith On IR

It’s official – the Vikings are placing offensive tackle Andre Smith on IR. Coach Mike Zimmer told reporters today that the veteran will have surgery tomorrow, likely ending his season in October. Andre Smith (vertical)

On Friday, we learned that Smith’s elbow injury could be a season-ender. Minnesota has been ravaged by injuries this year, but they have powered through and now sit atop the league with a 5-0 record. After topping the Texans 31-13 at home, the Vikings will rest up before traveling to Philadelphia in Week 7.

Smith came to the Vikings on a one-year, $3.5MM deal this offseason. While he was brought in to hold down the right tackle spot, reserve tackle Jeremiah Sirles has actually been outperforming him according to the advanced metrics. Pro Football Focus has Smith ranked as just the 71st best tackle out of 75 qualified players. Meanwhile, Sirles is No. 15.

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Vikings To Place Andre Smith On IR?

Andre Smith has an elbow injury and it might end his season. The tackle’s injury is keeping him out of practice today and the team believes that it might be severe enough to warrant placing him on IR, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweetsAndre Smith (vertical)

The Vikings, unfortunately, have been wrecked by injuries this year. The first big blow came late in the summer when Teddy Bridgewater suffered a severe knee injury. Then, a torn meniscus knocked Adrian Peterson out for a minimum of two months and potentially for the entire season. Now, Minnesota might lose another starter in Smith.

Smith came to the Vikings on a one-year, $3.5MM deal. Smith, the sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft, was the Bengals’ starting right tackle for several seasons, making 73 starts in Cincinnati since first joining the club seven years ago. Although he has been a steady performer throughout his career, the 29-year-old became expendable in Cincinnati after the Bengals used their first two picks in the 2015 draft on offensive tackles.

Through one month of NFL football, the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus have Smith ranked as just the 69th best tackle out of 75 qualified players. Meanwhile, fellow Vikings tackle Jeremiah Sirles is rated No. 32.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Bengals, Griffin, Bears

Watching most of their UFAs either defect or still reside in free agency, the Bengals allowed their latest longtime starter who fled Cincinnati to do so without an effort to keep him. The Bengals did not pursue Andre Smith, Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com reports, and the eighth-year right tackle signed with the Vikings.

Smith landed in Minnesota on a one-year, $3.5MM deal, one that could be deemed as a value-reestablishing accord. The Bengals, though, prepared for Smith’s departure a year in advance in drafting tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher in the first two rounds last year. Although, Fisher moved to H-back toward the end of last season.

Longtime secondary cogs Reggie Nelson and Leon Hall remain unsigned, while the Bengals let Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu join higher-bidding teams.

Here’s some more on the Bengals, along with other North-division franchises.

  • Former Bengals OC Jay Gruden expects Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard to command hefty contracts, per Hobson. “You have to tip your hat to that offensive scheme over there and the way Andy [Dalton] is throwing the ball around,” Gruden said. “That’s what that offense is supposed to be about. It’s supposed to get people touches, just not A.J. [Green]. Marvin and Mo got big contracts. A.J. has already established himself. Eifert will get a big deal. Giovani will get a great deal.” Gruden, who watched former auxiliary wideout Andrew Hawkins attract a solid contract from the Browns a few years ago, doesn’t anticipate a big drop-off from the Bengals’ offense after Sanu and Jones left. “[The Bengals] will be fine,” Gruden said. “Andy will throw it to the open guy and he’ll make someone else a couple of million dollars.”
  • While noting the Browns‘ meeting with Robert Griffin III went well, Jackson indirectly seemed to intimate a prospective interest in Colin Kaepernick, telling NFL.com’s Steve Wyche (via Marc Sessler) “I can’t comment on players on other teams. But it is where it is and eventually I think all those things will show itself.” Kaepernick should be one of the chief topics of this week’s owners’ meetings, with the Browns, Broncos and Jets having indicated some interest over the past couple of weeks. Jackson went on to call RG3 a “tremendous talent.” Griffin’s now visited the Jets and Browns. The Browns remain interested in Griffin, a source informed Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. Cabot notes the prospect of a Griffin-Browns union becoming reality would make the most sense this week, with the Cleveland brass in Boca Raton, Fla., for the meetings.
  • Kyle Long would play right guard for the Bears with the personnel that’s presently on the roster, John Fox told media (including Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune) from the spring meetings. A two-time Pro Bowl guard who earned an additional Pro Bowl nod upon being moved to right tackle in 2015, Long moving back there would stem from the Bears adding Bobby Massie in free agency. Long’s performance appeared to dip last season, however, with Pro Football Focus ranking him as its 37th-best tackle. The Bears trotted out Charles Leno at left tackle last season.
  • Fox said the Bears weren’t done in free agency, and Biggs hears from a source the team is looking to add a tight end this week. After keeping Zach Miller and trading Martellus Bennett, the Bears have Rob Housler under contract as well. Biggs points out Jared Cook could be a fit after playing for new OC Dowell Loggains with the Titans. The Bears haven’t allocated much money to the position, with Miller receiving a two-year, $6MM deal.
  • Fox believes both Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman can function as nickel linebackers for them, and Ryan Grigson concurs, telling media (including John Mullin of CSNChicago.com) Freeman can “do it all” as a three-down linebacker. Trevathan logged 513 snaps against the pass last season compared to Freeman’s 449, although Freeman would have likely matched or surpassed his new linebacking mate’s 2015 figure had he played more than 13 games.

Extra Points: NFLPA, Colon, Vikings, Lions

After reporting earlier today that the NFL Players Association was considering a vote on whether to reduce agent fees from a maximum of 3% to a max of 2%, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk hears from multiple sources that the union discussed a possible reduction, but won’t make any changes.

Two sources tell Florio that a small group of players, including Richard Sherman and Rashad Jennings, were in favor of a fee reduction, but the discussion ended up focusing instead on educating players on their right to negotiate a fee lower than 3%.

The conversation comes at an interesting time, in the wake of Russell Okung negotiating his new contract without an agent of his own. While Okung was able to get something done without having to give up a 3% fee, his deal arguably wasn’t as player-friendly as the majority of the other contracts signed this month, as I discussed earlier today. Agents could point to Okung’s lack of guaranteed money as a reason why they’re worth that 3% cut.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NFL:

  • Veteran guard Willie Colon, who is currently a free agent after spending the last three years with the Jets, said during an appearance on ESPN New York 98.7 FM that he’s contemplating retirement. “I’m on the fence. I still haven’t decided if I’m gonna go or not go,” Colon said, adding that he doesn’t want to rush his decision.
  • As Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune details, new Vikings tackle Andre Smith couldn’t pin down just one reason why he decided to sign in Minnesota as a free agent, citing Mike Zimmer‘s presence, the opportunity to join a winner, and the chance to compete for a starting job.
  • In his latest mailbag, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com praises some of the Lions‘ free agency decisions, but says the team didn’t significantly upgrade any position, adding that there are a few “concerning places” on the roster.
  • Mike Klis of 9NEWS sets the stage for next week’s NFL owners meetings in Boca Raton, Florida, suggesting that Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers, and the Broncos will receive plenty of attention, even if nothing major happens with the Kaepernick trade talks.