Very few storylines evolved from the nine OTA practice sessions which officially came to a close Thursday at Paul Brown Stadium. Though, the most buzzworthy of any was the absence of freshly minted RT Andre Smith. Smith, who signed a three-year, $18-million deal during draft weekend, missed the voluntary workouts for what Marvin Lewis earlier termed “personal reasons.” Every other player on the roster was present for at least a portion of the OTAs. Lewis confirmed Thursday he expects Smith to be at mandatory mini-camp next week. Resident captain and fellow offensive line bookend Andrew Whitworth assumes players will jokingly give Smith a hard time when he returns. Yet, in the big picture of winning football games concerns surrounding Smith's absence focus between the lines. “You just hope ... he's doing everything that needs to be done to get ready for the season,” Whitworth said. “As long as he's doing that this is optional time and it's his choice to be here or not be here.” Since Smith has not been at any of the offseason program it is possible he could fail to earn a $100,000 workout which is part of his new deal.
Andre Smith expected back next week for Bengals
Cincinnati Enquirer | Jun 7