The Cincinnati Bengals are continuing to fill out their offseason 90-man roster and the latest player to sign with the team is offensive lineman Bobby Hart.
The deal is reportedly for one year, but the finances and details have not yet been announced.
Hart, who measures in at 6’5” and 334 pounds, is classified as a fourth-year player for 2018. He has played in a total of 34 games with 21 starts for the New York Giants over the past three seasons, including 10 games with seven starts last season. All of his starts have been at offensive tackle.
“Bobby is a young player with three years of NFL experience, and he has very good upside and tools,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis in a press release. “We are excited to add him to the team as we improve our offensive line. The offensive line is a focus area for us, and this is one of various steps we are taking to improve our performance.”
Hart briefly played with current Bengals running back Giovani Bernard when they were both at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. The former Florida State Seminoles lineman was originally a seventh-round draft pick by the Giants in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Hart was cut by the Giants at the end of last season after he reportedly refused to play in Week 17. He was dealing with an ankle injury that had him listed as questionable to play, so it sounds like there was some disagreement between him and the Giants as to if he was healthy enough to play. Some have speculated he wasn’t interested in risking his ankle on a meaningless game with the Giants long out of the playoff picture.
Pro Football Focus was not impressed by Hart in 2017 as he recorded a 37.7 grade and was ranked as the 74th best tackle in the league. For comparison, Cedric Ogbuehi was the 70th rank tackle with a 41.0 grade and Andre Smith was ranked 62nd with a 48.0 grade.
Regardless, this gives the Bengals some much-needed depth along the offensive line, though I doubt this prevents the team from spending a high pick (or multiple high picks) on a lineman in the upcoming draft.