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Andre Smith contract a priority for Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to a two-year contract with free-agent linebacker James Harrison, but he isn't the only veteran on Cincinnati's radar.

Joe Reedy of The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Friday that Bengals coach Marvin Lewis hopes to have free-agent offensive tackle Andre Smith re-signed before Thursday's 2013 NFL Draft.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport told Around the League that there hasn't been additional movement between the sides. But the fact that Lewis anticipates a contract indicates how necessary it is to have the situation wrapped up prior to the draft. Lewis will need to know whether or not the Bengals should draft a right tackle.

"We're getting down to the time of that because we feel it's important," Lewis told Reedy. "He wants to get it done but he has to get his representation and our people to come to an agreement. He's anxious for it to occur, and hopefully it happens quickly. Everyone realizes when we get into the draft it becomes a different situation."

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The Bengals have been working to re-up with their former first-round pick, but Smith was put off by the team's contract offer. SI.com's Peter King reported this month that the Bengals' proposal "stinks" as far as Smith's camp is concerned.

The free-agent offensive tackle has received little interest on the open market, but Cincy would have a big hole to fill up front if Smith winds up elsewhere. Bottom line: Either this is a draft need, or it isn't.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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