ESPN's Adam Schefter had the news:
Big Bengals move: Cincinnati is re-signing OT Andre Smith, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 26, 2013
For Bengals OT Andre Smith: It's a three-year deal worth $18M. Nice.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 26, 2013
Smith is just 26 years old and spent the first four years of his career with the Bengals. He was one of the most sought-after players in the 2009 draft, as most Alabama players are nowadays, taken sixth overall.
His career got off to a rocky start in Cincinnati. A prolonged contract holdout caused Smith to miss a full month of the preseason in his rookie year. He broke his left foot days after signing his rookie contract, forcing him to miss 10 games that season.
Andre Smith will be...
In 2010, Smith again broke a bone in his left foot and was placed on injured reserve after playing in just seven games, including four starts.
Smith was finally able to stay on the field long enough to show off his talent in 2011, playing and starting 14 games for the Bengals. He played in all 16 games in 2012, but the Bengals allowed him to test the free-agent waters.
It is an interesting time to be a free agent, especially one who, like Smith, is still in the prime of his career. He clearly has stepped up his game the last two seasons and will be very good for at least the next handful of years.
But because the draft is so stacked with offensive linemen, particularly tackles, teams have more than their share of options to choose from. Rather than gamble on a rookie up front next season, the Bengals opted to bring Smith back.