The Cincinnati Bengals have been without their two starting offensive tackles at offseason workouts this spring. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth is recovering from having his knee scoped in February, and right tackle Andre Smith is still absent because of personal issues.
These three weeks of workouts are voluntary, but Smith is one of the players the Bengals would like to keep an eye on because of conditioning problems in the past. This is why there is $500,000 in workout bonuses included in the three-year contract he signed during the draft. It doesn't appear he will get the $100,000 workout bonus for this year.
Coach Marvin Lewis downplayed Smith being a no-show two weeks ago and indicated it was not related to conditioning. But Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw, for example, has been away from the team's facility because of personal reasons and he's ballooned to 285 pounds.
Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden told the Bengals' team website that Smith is going to be ready when he shows up for mandatory minicamp, which takes place next week.
"He’ll be in shape. He’s going through some things that he and Coach Lewis know about, I’m sure when the time is right he will be here,” Gruden said. "As long as he’s keeping an eye on his weight it will be good for (rookies Reid) Fragel and (Tanner) Hawkinson and let them play. Get them adjusted to what it is going to be like during training camp so that the first time they see it they will have a good understanding of it and adjust to it.”
Hawkinson has stepped in for Whitworth at left tackle, and Anthony Collins has filled in for Smith on the right side.