Ok, for all the folks that want to use that 8.6 million to get Thomas, what do you do when the Ravens tag Thomas and Smith then walks and you get nothing? Do you hope that some other player who is as good as Smith decides to sign with the Bengals?
Because that seems to happen every year, oh wait...we get Dexter Jackson and a 400lb Sam Adams who was worth having 4 years ago.
Smith had 82 tackles as a DE and 7.5 sacks. More tackles than Adalius Thomas, more sacks than Jared Allen and same amount as Alex Brown.
I do not believe anyone would argue that Smith is worth 8.6 million, but the Bengals need to keep him. He is a very solid NFL DE.