Tyson Jackson Signs Rookie Contract, Andre Smith Not Even Close
Assuming Jackson joins Kansas City's training camp immediately (and stays healthy), he's a near-lock to be the Chiefs' starting left end in Week 1.
The situation is not as rosy for the Bengals' top choice, offensive tackle Andre Smith. The No. 6 pick in 2009, Smith is reportedly miles away from signing with Cincinnati.
Not surprisingly, Smith wants more money than the Bengals are said to be offering -- but, in this case, his demands might be justified.
The Cincinnati Enquirer puts the number currently on the table for Smith at $33 million over five years. That's $5.25 million less than Oakland gave Darrius Heyward-Bey, the player selected one spot after Smith in the draft. It's also $7 million less than the 2008 No. 6 pick, Vernon Gholston, got from the Jets.
Big-money quarterbacks aside, the contracts for first-round picks generally slot pretty universally, with every player making a little less than the guy picked before him. There are variations on that rule, of course, but the gap between Heyward-Bey's deal and what the Bengals want Smith to accept is a pretty substantial one.
It's also not helping Cincinnati's cause that Jason Smith, the draft's best offensive tackle and St. Louis' pick at No. 2 overall, inked a five-year, $61.775 million contract.
Jackson's deal could put the wheels back in motion between Cincinnati and Smith. If the numbers there are accurate, and Jackson's contract comes in at just over $50 million, that lowers the ceiling hanging over Smith's demands -- at least down a bit from Jason Smith's haul. The number will come down further once No. 4 pick Aaron Curry signs with Seattle, no doubt for less than what Jackson gets.
But even if Curry comes in at five years and, say, $45 million, there's still a massive chasm between he and Smith. The only way Cincinnati can really justify its current offer is if Jacksonville signs No. 8 pick, and fellow offensive tackle, Eugene Monroe to something lower than $33 million -- thus creating an offensive-tackles-only slotting perception.
Barring that unlikely scenario, however, the chances are that Smith won't be showing up to Bengals camp in the near future.