Bengals announce signing of Andre Smith

Andre Smith with the Bengals. (WKRC/Tony Tribble)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The Bengals announced on Thursday that they have officially signed offensive lineman Andre Smith, an unrestricted free agent who played last season for Minnesota.

Smith's return to Cincinnati had been reported Tuesday.

The 6-foot-4, 325-pound is a ninth-year NFL player in 2017. He was a Bengals first-round draft choice in 2009 out of Alabama and played seven seasons at right tackle before moving to Minnesota as an unrestricted free agent for last season. In his last five seasons with the Bengals (2011-15), he played 69 games with 68 starts for teams that reached the playoffs every year.

Smith started Games 1-4 at right tackle for the Vikings in 2016, but a right triceps injury suffered in Game 4 ended his season.

“We are excited to have Andre back in Cincinnati,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “He’s a talented player we know and respect. He will bolster our offensive team.”

Smith may be tried at guard, but also provides depth at tackle. The Bengals lost left tackle Andrew Whitworth and right guard Kevin Zeitler to free agency.

“I’ll play where the team needs me,” said Smith. “I have faith that I can do anything I put my mind to.”

Over the Bengals’ run of five straight playoff seasons (’11-’15), Smith helped the team log four NFL top-10 rankings in fewest sacks allowed, two top-10 finishes in rushing yards and two top-10 finishes in scoring.

At Alabama in 2008, Smith was the winner of the Outland Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top offensive or interior defensive lineman.

Information courtesy Cincinnati Bengals

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