Smith, a first-round pick in 2009 who had the final two years of his rookie deal disappear when the Bengals opted not to pay him a $4.75 million option bonus in 2011, will be able to negotiate with other teams as of March 9, and to sign elsewhere on March 12.
Of course, the negotiations already have begun. Tampering, yes, but they’re happening. And word is that Smith is looking for a deal that pays out $9 million per year.
Even though Smith wants $9 million per year, I’m sure he’s realistic and knows that he likely won’t get what he wants. Unless there’s one desperate team willing to over pay him.