On April 26, offensive tackle Andre Smith signed a three-year, $18 million contract to remain with the Cincinnati Bengals, ending his six-week stint as an unrestricted free agent. Since signing that contract, Smith has chosen to skip the voluntary OTAs and will be no-show for this week's mandatory mini-camp.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis does not sound pleased and intends to fine Smith for missing the mandatory practices.
“I think we all have to make choices once in a while in life that we pay a cost for," Lewis said, according to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "In this case I have to do it that way. I have to be fair, I mean, we are not necessarily dealing with a death in the family or something like that or your wife is having a baby or so forth. In this case, this is something there has to be ramifications from this."
The guaranteed portion of Smith's contract has already been paid out. Smith received a $3 million signing bonus at the time of the contract's signing and banked a $2 million roster bonus on May 2. Smith is due a $1.9 million base salary and can earn up to $1 million in "per game active" roster bonuses this season. A $100,000 workout bonus was also available, but since Smith did not participate in the workout program, he will not receive that bonus.
Smith will be fined the maximum amount — $66,150 — for missing the three-day mini-camp, bringing his total financial losses to just over $170,000 when you factor in the $175 per day that the collective bargaining agreement requires teams to pay players for participating in the offseason workout program.
Lewis added that Smith's absence is not tied to a January arrest for possessing a handgun in an Atlanta airport or a family issue, which might normally result in an excused absence. By fining Smith, it's clear that Lewis feels the cause of the absence is something the No. 6 overall pick of the 2009 NFL draft could have avoided.
"He’s really dealing with something he’s got to get through," Lewis said. "We would have hoped he would have been here and picked up on some of the things we felt like were good to work on this point in the year for himself personally with football. But he’s got some personal things he’s dealing with. Obviously, there’s certain things that come with not being here these three days, so, that’s unfortunate for him."