The Bengals today re-signed OT Andre Smith as an unrestricted free agent.
Smith (6-4, 335; Alabama) is a fifth-year NFL player in 2013. He has played his full career with the Bengals, after being drafted by Cincinnati as the sixth overall pick in round one in 2009. He has been the team’s starting ROT since October 2010. He played and started 14 games in 2011, and last season he started every game.
“We’re excited to have gotten this important deal done this afternoon,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “Andre is a fine player who has matured tremendously during his time with us, and completing this now enhances what we’ll be able to do to best improve our team these last two days of the draft.”
Smith’s power blocking last season helped HB BenJarvus Green-Ellis lead the NFL in third-down-and-one rushing conversions (14), with Green-Ellis failing to convert only once. Smith helped the Bengals average 168.2 rushing yards during Games 10-14, as they closed on a Wild Card playoff spot, and Green-Ellis topped 100 yards in four of those five contests.
“The last two years here have been tremendous, going to the playoffs both years, and it was time for me to make the decision to be back,” Smith said of today’s signing. “I think I’ve fully bought into what Coach Lewis wanted me to do, doing all the little things that make a great pro, and I’ve never enjoyed football more.”
The Bengals have been to the playoffs in three of Smith’s four seasons with the team.