When Terence Newman signed a one-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals earlier this week, many just chalked it up to the Bengals traditional approach towards free agency. They've become notorious for signing former first round picks that have seemingly declined due to injury or lackluster performance. They've also become synonymous with "redemption".
Newman is the perfect example of Bengals redemption. He's the most recent case of a former Dallas Cowboy who was coached by Mike Zimmer looking for a career renaissance here in Cincinnati. Hoping to reclaim his former Pro Bowl status, he's on a one-year "prove it deal" and he'll likely get his shot. But, this deal may not be as one-sided (favoring the Bengals) as we all originally thought. In a sit-down with Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, Newman made it known why he came to Cincinnati.
When speaking about the opportunity with the club, Newman was all business:
"Being a first-rounder and all that, that's over with. That stuff doesn't matter anymore," Newman said. "There are guys that play 12, 15 years and don't have a ring. I want the ring. That's all that matters right now.
"These guys have a good line and linebackers. They're a playoff team. They can help me and I can help them."
Newman was also particularly complimentary to the Bengals No.1 cornerback, Leon Hall, calling him a "great technician" and that "he plays the game the way it's supposed to be played". Newman's status with the club will heavily depend on Hall's rehab process from last year's Achilles injury, as well as if the club drafts a corner in the first couple of rounds in two weeks. It's unclear if he's slated to start opposite Hall, or if he's in line to take over the nickel package duties, but he definitely is a welcomed addition to a suddenly-deep position group.
So, while the public perception is that Newman took the best and/or only offer on the table, there may be a bit more than meets the eye here. Perhaps Newman had a few offers, but felt that the Bengals have the best opportunity for him to reach the goal he has his sights set on at this point in his career--a Super Bowl ring.