I, like many of you, have never heard of Travelle Wharton before today. There seem to be some who are excited about this, and some who have problems with his pas protection. I know that scrambling QBs give up more "pressures" than most, as part of their skill set is to extend plays due to the fact that they can get away from or get past pass rushers. Really it's tough to typically know how well a guard plays based on numbers unless you're a fan of that team. So I looked around Cat Scratch Reader (the SBN Panthers site) and found a 2011 review of Wharton. Here is how it ended:
In conclusion, Travelle Wharton has been an unrecognized hero for the Carolina Panthers since 2004. While he may not be named to Pro Bowls due to not being the most recognized by name offensive guard in the NFC, when you see a monster play for Carolina, more often than not number 70 has his man in check allowing for the aerial assault or has broken through to the secondary allowing for a gash on the ground. Although Carolina is close to 10 million above the cap, I do not foresee Travelle Wharton being a casualty. His solid play and stability he brings to the line is worthy of the 5.4 million dollars he received this season as well as the 6 year, $35 million contract he signed in 2008.
For those of you who don't like clicking on HTML text, you can find that post here: http://www.catscratchreader.com/2012/2/15/2799989/2011-panther-player-season-recap-og-travelle-wharton
I certainly think he is an upgrade in the guard position, even in terms of before free agency, when Livings and McGlynn were on the roster. Also, I think this gives the Bengals the option of not having to find an immediate starter on the O-line, opening up a first round pick. In all, this seems like a quality signing.