As we approach week 2 of the preseason, three first-round picks remain unsigned: Michael Crabtree for the 49ers, Aaron Maybin of the Bills, and none other than Andre Smith of the Bengals. Even though Smith had said he wanted to get into camp early so he could begin learning immediately, the Bengals don’t seem to be helping matters. In fact, they anticipated a holdout all along, probably because they know they low-ball their draft picks. Check out the latest, disturbing information:
According to those familiar with the negotiations, the Bengals last offer to Smith was five years at the base at $28 million and a maximum of $33 million. That’s lower than what the Jets’ Vernon Gholston received last year as the sixth pick (base of $32.5 million) and way lower than what Oakland’s Darrius Heyward-Bey received as this year’s seventh pick (base of $38.25 million).
Now I won’t fault the Bengals for Oakland’s incompetence, but given their history, I have no reason to doubt those figures. Honestly, who offers almost five million less than what the guy got the previous year? Between this and having a barebones scouting department, it’s painfully obvious that Cincinnati’s chief concern is being frugal, not winning. I’m truly surprised they found the money in their budget to sign Laveranues Coles in the offseason.Google+