The Cincinnati Bengals and their first-round draft pick, Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith, have moved closer to finalizing a contract, a source with knowledge of the situation said. Terms have not been finalized but the lengthy stalemate that likely cost Smith a chance to open the season as the starting right tackle appears close to being broken.
Smith, the sixth overall selection, has missed all of training camp and three preseason games but there is a possibility he could be signed before the final preseason game, although he might not be in condition to play. Smith and San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree remain the only unsigned rookies.
Just days ago, Smith and the Bengals were between $5 and $10 million apart on the total package, but with the Bengals needing to finalize their 53-man roster by next weekend and Smith wanting to join the team, a compromise appears imminent.