Earlier today, the Cincinnati Bengals announced the signing of veteran cornerback Terence Newman; a move which adds much needed talent and depth to the cornerback position. Newman officially became a Bengal today, but reportedly, he's been on Marvin Lewis' radar long before this 2012 offseason. In an article written today by the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy, Lewis expresses his long-time admiration of Newman's talents:
The Bengals almost drafted in Newman in 2003. Lewis admitted on Wednesday that the choice that year came down to Carson Palmer or Newman, but that if the Bengals were going to take Newman, they would have moved out of the top overall pick.
It's hard to imagine the Bengals of the past decade without Carson Palmer, but the genuine admiration of Newman shown by Marvin Lewis is encouraging. Lewis had much more praise to dish out as well.
"Terence is a guy who has played at an extremely high level who still has athleticism and speed," Lewis said on Wednesday. "We're anxious to work with him and coach him on technique and play in the style that we would like him to play. As he would say he had his best years when he was under Mike's (Zimmer's) coaching.
Newman was the 5th overall selection of the Dallas Cowboys in 2003 and played under Mike Zimmer from 2003 to 2006 while Zimmer was the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator. His one year deal could become a win/win for both parties: The Bengals acquire a veteran cornerback talent and quality depth should Hall not be able to fully return from his achilles injury, Nate Clements shows his age, or another cornerback cannot play at a high enough level. Also, the one year deal frees the Bengals of any long term commitment to the oft-injured Newman, who is 33 years old himself. For Newman, signing with the Bengals allows him something Marvin Lewis believes is most important: the chance at a playoff berth.
"He's choosing to come here to come to a team that can get him back to the playoffs, further his career and help us win. At the end of the day, we've got a mutual view of where we want to end up," Lewis said.
The signing of Newman may alter the Bengals draft plans in regards to drafting a cornerback with the first round selection, and if it does--and Newman plays at a high level--then the Bengals are freed up to drafting quality talent to occupy another position.
What do you think about the addition of Terence Newman?