Bengals Lineman Andre Smith Arrested for Allegedly Bringing Handgun to Airport

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJanuary 18, 2013

Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Andre Smith was arrested Thursday for allegedly bringing a gun to an airport in Atlanta.

P.J. O'Keefe of WCPO Digital broke the news of the young right tackle's situation, which was resolved this morning when he appeared in court:

Atlanta police say they found a .380 caliber handgun on Smith when he tried to board a plane at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport Thursday evening.

Smith, 25, of Birmingham, Alabama, appeared in court Friday morning and was issued a $3,000 bond.

For a franchise that has had its share of player arrests in recent years, Smith is certainly not helping the cause in enhancing the Bengals' image. Smith was a first-round pick at No. 6 overall out of the University of Alabama, where he enjoyed an exceptional career.

Red flags were raised as to whether he had the work ethic to last in the pros after the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine. Smith showed up overweight, out of shape and ran a sluggish 40-yard dash. His pro day wasn't much better.

Despite those shortcomings, the Bengals took the plunge on yet another wild-card prospect.

Until this incident, though, the risky investment in Smith has paid off. He has largely stayed out of trouble since arriving in Cincinnati, and after two disappointing seasons, he has emerged as the team's starting right tackle.

As O'Keefe points out, he was one of the few reliable bodies on the Bengals' 2012 injury riddled team. He was one of only 10 players to start all 16 games, putting to rest any concern that he wouldn't be able to maintain football shape at the pro level.

Guns have been a hot political issue recently, and it's very unfortunate that Smith's mishap had to be of this variety.