NFL Rumors: Andre Smith Leaving Cincinnati Bengals For Minnesota Vikings

Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andre Smith

NFL rumors have been swirling around Andre Smith. The Cincinnati Bengals right tackle has been generating interest from a couple of teams in the National Football League, so the belief was that he was going to be switching jerseys. Smith had a very good meeting with the Minnesota Vikings. Unfortunately, though, he left without a contract. According to ESPN, Smith might wait a while before signing with the Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings went all out to convince Andre Smith to sign with the team. General manager Rick Spielman took four members of the Vikings coaching staff with him to Manny’s Steakhouse in Minneapolis to court Smith. The 29-year-old tackle then headed to the Vikings practice facility to have a private meeting with head coach Mike Zimmer. The message was clear: Minnesota wanted Andre to be a part of their offensive line.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer
To increase his leverage with the Minnesota Vikings, Andre Smith left town so that he could visit another NFL team. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals are reportedly interested in signing Smith, so the Vikings will need to keep an eye on things. Minnesota is hoping that the brand new billion-dollar palace that they’re building will be enough to convince Andre to choose the Vikings over the Buccaneers and Cardinals.

One of the things that might nudge Andre Smith towards another NFL team is the fact that the Minnesota Vikings already have two very good options at tackle. Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt are under contract. Smith would have to compete with both of them if he wants playing time. There are other teams in the National Football League that might be more inclined to hand Andre a starting position on a platter.

Minnesota Vikings tackle Phil Loadholt
The Minnesota Vikings are hoping that the relationship between Mike Zimmer and Andre Smith will give them another talented tackle on the roster. Before taking over as the Vikings’ head coach, Zimmer was the defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. While Zimmer did not directly coach Smith, the two of them spent plenty of time together. Mike knows how solid of a blocker Andre is because his defensive guys had to go up against the 29-year-old tackle.

The Minnesota Vikings are hoping that Andre Smith follows in the footsteps of Terance Newman. After visiting with the Vikings, the corner back decided to spend a week deciding what he wanted to do. NFL teams assume that free agents aren’t going to be signing with them if they leave town without a contract. However, Newman surprised Minnesota by agreeing to their contract after realizing that this was the best choice for his career in the National Football League.

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians
Working against Andre Smith is his health. The seven-year veteran has only played in 16 games twice. Smith has played in fewer than ten games at least three times in his career. Andre is a good run blocker, so if he can stay healthy, then the Vikings are envisioning what he can do for Adrian Peterson.

For what it’s worth, Andre Smith is telling people that the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings have an equal chance of signing him in free agency. Both teams are legitimate contenders to make the Super Bowl. Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians and Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer are both highly respected in the NFL. Smith would be in a good position with either choices. Andre could also choose to return to the Cincinnati Bengals, where he would play for Marvin Lewis. Andy Dalton and AJ Green are in their prime, so Smith would contend for the NFL Playoffs every year.

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