Despite coming off an excellent season, Smith lingered on the free agent market for weeks with very little movement. The Bengals had plenty of salary cap space to re-sign him, but the two sides were far apart on a deal. As negotiations progressed, the two sides appeared to move further apart and at one point reports surfaced that Cincinnati would decide to go in another direction. During an appearance on the NFL Network, Ian Rapoport said Smith's extension is for three years and is worth $18 million.
The Bengals were reportedly considering drafting an offensive lineman to replace Smith, but the two sides struck a deal in the midst of the second round of the draft. The Bengals held the No. 37 pick in the draft but agreed to a deal shortly before selecting running back Giovani Bernard.
The 26-year-old Smith will be in Cincinnati for the foreseeable future. He graded out among the top right tackles in the NFL last season, according to Pro Football Focus, but will have to prove he can maintain that level of play.