Senior member of Alabama’s active NFL alumni released


The senior member of Alabama’s contingent in the NFL lost that title on Monday when the Baltimore Ravens released offensive tackle Andre Smith.

Smith hasn’t played in an NFL regular-season game since Nov. 10, 2019, and will need a new team to continue a career that began as the sixth player picked in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Smith was seeking a roster spot as a swing tackle behind Ronnie Stanley and Alejandro Villanueva for Baltimore’s offensive line.

Smith played 41 offensive snaps (54 percent of the Ravens’ total) in a 17-14 preseason victory over the New Orleans Saints on Aug. 14 and 48 offensive snaps (62 percent) in a 20-3 preseason victory over the Carolina Panthers on Saturday night.

Smith started the first five games of the 2019 season at left offensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals after spending most of his career as a right tackle. An ankle injury sidelined him for the next two games, and he played only once more, getting on the field for 12 offensive snaps on Nov. 10, before being released.

Smith finished the season with the Ravens, who signed him for offensive-line depth in advance of their second-round playoff game. Smith didn’t get on the field in Baltimore’s season-ending loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Smith signed a one-year, $1.075 million contract extension with the Ravens on Feb. 6, 2020. But Smith took the opt-out offered in the NFL’s plan to play during the coronavirus pandemic and sat out last season as his contract rolled over to 2021.

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Smith has played in 116 regular-season and five playoff games. All the postseason appearances and 104 of the regular-season games came with Cincinnati.

Smith was a prep star at Huffman in Birmingham -- a Parade All-American, the Class 6A Lineman of the Year and the ASWA’s Mr. Football for the 2005 season. Smith is the only offensive lineman who has earned Alabama’s Mr. Football honor.

Smith started for three seasons as Alabama’s left offensive tackle. He was a unanimous All-American in 2008, when he won the Outland Trophy as college football’s best interior lineman.

Smith opened his NFL career with two injury-filled seasons that limited him to 13 games. He then settled in as Cincinnati’s right tackle for five years before departing in free agency for the Minnesota Vikings in 2016.

A triceps injury limited Smith to four games with the Vikings, and he returned to the Bengals in 2017, when he played in 13 games and started eight.

Smith left again in 2018, joining the Arizona Cardinals in free agency. Smith started eight games and missed three with an elbow injury for Arizona before being released.

Smith rejoined the Bengals for the final three games of the 2018 season. He remained a free agent throughout the offseason until re-signing with the Bengals on July 25, 2019, and was back in Cincinnati’s starting lineup when the season started.

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.

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