The Bengals may have the most cap space in the league, but that doesn't mean that they're going to be able to re-sign every big-name free agent they have. This offseason, they'll need to figure out a way to keep both right tackle Andre Smith and defensive end Michael Johnson in stripes for at least another season. However, with the contracts of guys like Geno Atkins, A.J. Green and Andy Dalton coming to an end, re-signing both to long-term deals may not be possible.
That's why, according to the folks at Pro Football Focus, the Bengals using the franchise tag on Smith is basically a "Slam Dunk."
Cincinnati Bengals: Andre Smith Jr., OT
Smith has certainly come a long way since running shirtless at the combine and earning a -14.7 PFF grade over his first two seasons. He was the best right tackle in the NFL this year, excelling in the run game and earning a starting spot on our All-Pro team. Getting arrested for trying to bring a gun on an airplane is not the ideal way to head into free agency, but Smith's talent (and the Bengals' cap space) makes it unlikely that Cincinnati will let him get away.
Bengals Using Franchise Tag On Andre Smith A 'Slam Dunk'
Cincy Jungle | Feb 14