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Cincinnati Bengals optimistic Andre Smith will re-sign

The forecast for Andre Smith's return to the Cincinnati Bengals is clearing up.

"The sun is emerging, maybe," coach Marvin Lewis said Tuesday about Smith possibly signing a new contract with the Bengals.

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After weeks of tough talk, Lewis' optimism Tuesday was notable. It sounds like the Bengals and their talented right tackle have made progress recently.

"I'm hopeful we can get a solution prior to (Thursday's) draft," Lewis said via Bengals.com." I know Andre would like to get it done. I think he'd feel better about things so he doesn't get lost without a chair."

Securing Smith would solve one big need and allow the Bengals to focus on getting the best player available in the 2013 NFL Draft. Safety and running back look like big needs, while Lewis also mentioned linebacker as a spot needing depth.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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