While the news that the Bills had release 2009 first-round pick Aaron Maybin automatically came with the analysis that Buffalo had made a bad pick and that Maybin was one of the biggest draft busts in recent memory, not too much has been said lately about Bengals T Andre Smith.
You know, the guy who was picked five spots in front of Maybin.
And perhaps Smith hasn’t been quite as terrible as Maybin, who still hasn’t recorded a sack in his career. But Smith has been a major disappointment for Cincinnati. And that’s why it’s not a surprise to read the news from the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Joe Reedy that the Bengals have decided not to pick up the option on Smith’s rookie contract.
The option would have extended Smith’s four-year contract by two years, and the team would have owed him more than $17 million. Instead, the contract will now end after the 2012 season.
After the Bengals made him the No. 6 pick in the 2009 draft, Smith got $21 million guaranteed, and almost immediately, he began his slide to irrelevance. He held out in 2009, and then almost immediately injured himself in practice. Then, he got overweight again (let’s face it: he’s perpetually been overweight) and hurt himself again last year.
|Andre Smith's Journey|
Smith has been better this year so far in the preseason, but as Reedy points out, the decision not to extend the contract has nothing to do with the past three weeks.
Instead, it’s all about his performance (or non-performance) during the first two years of his career.
“After several conversations it was decided it would not be picked up now, but both sides are optimistic about the future,” Jimmy Gould, Smith’s co-agent, told the Enquirer. “He’s doing well and we’re encouraged.”
That could be, but the chances of Smith playing in a Bengals uniform in 2013 have grown slimmer with this news. Then, like Maybin with the Jets, Smith might have to find a new location where he can rejuvenate his career.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.