Could the Bengals be targeting a right tackle early in the 2013 NFL Draft? There are starting to be some signs and whispers around the NFL that say yes they are. Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk reports the Bengals may be looking at letting Andre Smith walk and draft a cheaper option.
As one league source explains it, the Bengals are now inclined to see if they can find a cheaper and younger replacement for Smith via the draft. If the Bengals can, they’ll possibly pull the plug on efforts to re-sign Smith, a first-round pick in 2009.
Now Smith was the #1 rated right tackle in the league by PFF last year, so conventional wisdom says you have to bring him back. Rumors are that Smith is wanting around 9 million per year and with all the big time players the Bengals need to re-sign and extend next year, 9 million a year is too much especially since a market for him doesn’t seem to exist.
With the draft just around the corner, you have to take information like this as you will. The reports could be completely right and the Bengals could take D.J. Fluker or Menelik Watson at 21, or this could be a smokescreen to drive Smiths price down. Either way it should be an interesting next few weeks in Cincinnati.