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‘Bama in the NFL: Former Tide stars finding new homes in Free Agency

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Andre Smith, Eddie Lacy, Dont’a Hightower are in the news this week

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons Dan Powers-USA TODAY Sports

Moving on

Andre Smith, after a stint as a Viking, is looking to finish out his career where he started, as a Bengal in Cincinnati. Details aren’t in yet, but Smith was courted by the Bengals the heaviest. Like Eddie Lacy, it is a one-year make-or-break deal for the former ‘Bama left tackle.

Speaking of Eddie Lacy, Pete Carroll, who has a history with big backs, has no desire to try and keep the China Food-lover at an unrealistic 235. Carroll isn’t overly concerned by Lacy’s weight, but wants to see him nearer 240 — Lacy played at 242 at Alabama.

Seahawks' Pete Carroll on Eddie Lacy: 'I want him big' - NFL.com

Pete Carroll said the Seahawks will make a "concerted effort" to make sure Lacy stays in shape, but didn't seem worried about the running back's weight, noting: "I want him big," via ESPN's Sheil Kapadia.

Carroll added that 235 pounds for a player of Lacy's build is not realistic, and would like to see the 26-year-old closer to the 240-pound range.

"(He's a) big back in classic fashion. He's an exciting guy to add to the mix," Carroll said, per the team's official website.

While we’re on the subject of Big Bellies, the biggest belly of them all, Chance Warmack, has a team that I think will really appreciate him, the Philadelphia Eagles. That is contingent on Warmack cracking the lineup. That latter prospect is not a certainty:

The Birds signed Chance Warmack to a one-year contract in order to reunite the former No. 10 overall pick with his old offensive line coach at Alabama: Jeff Stoutland.

The Eagles’ interior offensive line picture is crowded right now so there’s certainly no guarantee Warmack will start, but it’ll be interesting to see if he can push for playing time in Philadelphia.

That also link has a great interview with the Titans beat writers explaining what went wrong in Nashville.

Show me the money

Jets Likely Have Largest Offer To Dont'a Hightower

The Patriots have built a dynasty by getting excellent players on the upswing and mercenary signings of proven vets on the downside of their careers, and doing it all relatively on the cheap. They’re not really a franchise that pays huge money for linebackers in the prime of their careers. So, it’s not a surprise to see Dont’a Hightower testing the market.

It looked like Zeus was a done-deal in Pittsburgh, but the Steelers made him a one-call-close offer, and didn’t want to be used for salary leveraging. He was told that if he didn’t sign before getting on the plane, any offer was off the table. The Steelers were true to their word, and Hightower’s next likely rumored stop is with an AFC East rival, the NY Jets.

The Jets have the most amount of money on the table. Still teams in the running think Hightower will take a lower salary to stick with a winner and stay in Boston. In essence, he’s trying to get as much as he can from the notoriously tight Pats front office while still winning titles.

Hightower will sign with New York if he’s “looking for the biggest financial score.” Gang Green is willing to hand Hightower a “blockbuster contract,” per Cimini, while Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets the Jets have “far and away the most money on the table.” Still, Hightower “doesn’t seem inclined” to accept the Jets’ offer, per La Canfora (Twitter link), which would jibe with reports indicating rival clubs expect Hightower to re-sign with the Patriots.

Hightower will sign with New York if he’s “looking for the biggest financial score.” Gang Green is willing to hand Hightower a “blockbuster contract,” per Cimini, while Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets the Jets have “far and away the most money on the table.” Still, Hightower “doesn’t seem inclined” to accept the Jets’ offer, per La Canfora (Twitter link), which would jibe with reports indicating rival clubs expect Hightower to re-sign with the Patriots.

Dre Kirkpatrick did get paid, earning a 5-year deal for $52.5 million dollars. The contract has sparked a lot of anger from NFL hardcores. But, Swagga’ is just 27, in the prime of his career, and the contract has very little guaranteed money: If they pay him $10.5 million a year, he’s earning it.

Is Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick Worth His New Contract?

Most people had a visceral reaction to this contract, but look at how small that guarantee is. Sure, it’s a very inefficient contract and with the depth at CB in this draft class, the scarcity doesn’t even justify that sort of loss. But if Kirkpatrick doesn’t progress like the Bengals hope (which has to be why they gave him this deal, right?), they can actually get out of it just next year.

I’m certainly not a fan of the deal, but to play devil’s advocate, it seems like the Bengals are trying to hedge their bet with this small guarantee.